Friday, October 8, 2010

A Tui in the Tree

New Zealand is a land of birds - or at least it used to be!

It has no large native mammals. Instead it was blessed with a rich and diverse bird-life. Maori depradations had an impact - with the extinction of Moa, and habitat changes in a few places - but no permanent damage.

The arrival of European settlers, however, had a profound impact. Not only were new domesticated animals introduced (cows and sheep especially), but so too were new pests (rabbits, stoats, possums, rats). Combined with extensive bush clearance to create arable and pastoral farmland, the scale of bird-life in New Zealand was much reduced.

Recently, however, the efforts of the Department of Conservation and projects such as Zealandia Karori Sanctuary have seen something of a revival of the fortunes of many species.

And we are one of the benficiaries. We have a native kowhai tree in the backyard, the flowers of which are one of the favourite sources of food for the native Tui. So each Spring we have Tui visit to cavort, feed, and warble in the bakyard - delightful!

Or a couple of other similar clips also on YouTube are HERE and HERE.

No comments: