Sunday, December 10, 2017

A tui nest

With the increase in tui activity in Mangaiti gully we have been frequently asked what a tui nest looks like. A Trust member was staying at a holiday home at Opoutere on the Coromandel and found G. J. H. Moon’s book Refocus on New Zealand Birds published in 1967 with some excellent photos and notes on his personal observations of bird activity around the nest while observing from his hide. I have reproduced the tui photo that shows the nest structure and summarised his notes to help you to identify a possible tui nesting site in your area.

From Moon’s notes:
·         The male is slightly larger than the female
·         Their diets consists of a wide variety of insects, small berries and nectar
·         Being nectar feeders they are ecologically important in transferring pollen from one flower to another
·         The nesting season normally extends from November to January but he has found nests in October.
·         In his district (Warkworth, North Auckland) the favourite nesting sites were in the outer branches of Totara and in the upper canopy of tall manuka but some nests are built in kahikatea, kowhai, and macrocarpa, from 10 feet (3 metres) to 50 feet (15 metres) above the ground. 
·         The nests are up to 10 inches (24cm) in diameter and built as per the photos. Two to four eggs form the usual clutch; these are pale pink or white, with brownish specks at the broader end. Incubation takes 14 days.

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