Joy to the World

Spring was very present and pleasant in the Dunedin Botanic Gardens today. Near the top of the gardens I stood under a big Eucalyptus gunnii tree taking pics of it, and all around me I heard tui song – full surround sound! They sang endlessly at top volume, the whole gamut of their usual crazy mix of chimes, peals, whirrs and burps. Tuis are ultra-hyperactive at this time of year, full-on gluttons, singer-performers and constantly transforming into high-speed rockets at a moment’s notice (chasing each other at the slightest provocation, in one-on-one beak to tail flights at super-sonic speed). There were lots of our native kōwhai trees in flower you see, and the tuis were out in force 🙂


When we got home this evening I found on Twitter that Louise Thomas from Lower Hutt (Wellington region) had shared a super-duper photo of a tui feeding in kōwhai flowers in Lower Hutt and I was excited to quickly get a reply permitting me to share it with you!

Photo by Louise Thomas, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Twitter:  @Louthesciwriter
Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) feeding on nectar from kōwhai flowers.


After walking further down the hillside at the Botanic Gardens I looked back and in the distance I saw a canopy of yellow kōwhai flowers – in it I could see a group of tuis! I quickly got my camera and extended the zoom, unsure if it would handle the distance. One photo I thought was worth sharing…

If you click on this photo to enlarge (you’ll probably need to click twice), you’ll see there’s five tuis feasting in the flowers. Notice the white tufts under their throats!

Text by Liz, 1st photo by Louise Thomas, 2nd photo by Liz.
Exploring Colour (2020)

13 thoughts on “Joy to the World

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    1. I’ve played the video – that’s *not* good for how they sound. The most prominent ‘voice’ is a blackbird or maybe thrush (until right at the end where the tui is the main subject). That looks like Waitangi right up the north of New Zealand (I grew up a bit further north of there).

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      1. That does sound quite different from the track I linked to previously. It sounds like they have an amazing repertoire of sounds. Thanks for sharing this, Liz. My education on New Zealand continues. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I laughed with joy that you approved my tui description.. those birds are a real giggle! Hey, after a few chapters other things had intervened and Craggan Dhu had to wait but I took it with me to Waihola on Thurs night and couldn’t put it down! You are such a weaver of tales 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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