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Tui

Tui
Popular Diets
Like others, I was waiting for the rain to clear so that we could snap Lake Matheson reflect the Southern Alps. No one else seemed to see this Tui come down to drink the nectar from the flax plant, so in to the bag went the Pentax and out of the bag came the D300.

Tui are considered to be very intelligent, much like parrots. They also resemble parrots in their ability to clearly imitate human speech and are known for their noisy, unusual call, different for each individual, that combine bellbird-like notes with clicks, cackles, timber-like creaks and groans, and wheezing sounds—the unusual possession of 2 voiceboxes enable Tui to perform such a myriad of vocalisations

Some of the huge range of Tui sounds are beyond the human register. Watching a Tui sing, one can observe gaps in the sound when the beak is agape and throat tufts throbbing. Tui will also sing at night, especially around the full moon period.

Nectar is the normal diet but fruit and insects are frequently eaten, and pollen and seeds more occasionally. Particularly popular is the New Zealand flax, whose nectar sometimes ferments, resulting in the Tui flying in a fashion that suggests that they might be drunk. Tui are the main pollinators of flax, kowhai, kaka beak and some other plants. Note that the flowers of the three plants mentioned are similar in shape to the Tui’s beak—a vivid example of mutualistic coevolution (Wiki)

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