Monday, 9 December 2013

Tui Chicks in the Garden

In my last blog I wrote about birds' nests in the garden, saying that sometimes old nests get blown down in the wind. What I wasn't expecting was to find a new nest blown down. The tui nest got blown down in a storm.
The nest fell into a flax bush

The nest fell straight down into a flax bush. When I found it, the nest was empty, but this chick was close by so I popped it back in. I saw another two chicks in the tree, they were obviously old enough to flutter and climb around. The mother tui kept on feeding them.

One of the other chicks made its way to the nest, so now two were in the nest! I didn't think a flax bush was a great place for a nest. It was too close to the ground and too easy for the neighbours' cats to get to them. So I picked up the nest, holding a protective hand over the chicks so they couldn't fall out, and put it into a fork in the tree. I tied it in using some cabbage tree leaves! As soon as I walked away from the nest, the mother was back feeding the chicks again.

The nest tied back into the tree
When I went back to look next morning, all three of the chicks were now in the nest. They stayed there for 4 or 5 days getting so big there was barely enough room for them in the nest, two of the chicks were usually sitting on top of the other one! Then they left the nest to flutter around and roost in the trees. The parents will keep on feeding them until they are old enough to feed themselves.

If you are interested in this story, you might like Tui: A nest in the bush by Meg Lipscombe, she has photographed all stages from eggs to fledglings.