Hoodlum tui kills another in Petone street gang fight.

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Ken George
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Hoodlum tui kills another in Petone street gang fight.

Postby Ken George » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:43 pm

I've seen some pretty ferocious fights between hormonal tui over the years, especially each spring in my own backyard in Golden Bay. I've seen the occasional fight get so heated that the two antagonists fall out of the tree and roll around on the ground, scratching, hissing and pecking at each other. Every time things have got this far, one of the tui will break off the fight and flee, usually with the victor in pursuit. What myself and two friends witnessed in a Petone suburban backstreet the other day was next level. We had just finished lunch at a Jackson Street cafe and were returning to our cars in a side street. The street had a few trees on each side and I noticed half a dozen tui in the trees. Just as we got to our cars we saw what we thought was one tui lying in the middle of the road, flapping it's wings and making a lot of noise. I initially thought it had been hit by a car and was badly injured, so I went over to it to the point where I was standing directly over it. I realised it was not one tui, but two, and locked closely together with one of the tui having it's beak firmly clamped around the other's neck. Even with me standing directly over the two combatants, with them practically rolling around at my feet, they kept on scrapping and ignored me. I finally got one to release the other by clapping my hands and nudging them with my foot. One bird flew up into a tree, but the other just lay in the middle of the road, eyes shut. Not wanting it to be hit by a car, I picked it up and realised it was dead, with it's head flopping around loosely right at the point where the first tui had had it's neck in it's beak. Clearly, the one tui had broken the other tui's neck with it's beak clamp. Meanwhile the killer tui sat in the tree, puffing himself up and vocalising loudly to the other tui who had watched all this from their branches. I placed the dead tui on a flat branch but the angry one still hadn't finished and flew at the dead one for round two. I had to chase it off again, that was one angry bird! After more feather puffing and shoulder hunching, with loud continuous vocals, he calmed down. So, don't let the generic honeyeater name fool you, these guys have the equivalent avian jaw clamp power of a bulldog and can snap each other's necks if pushed to it. Anybody else witnessed fights to the death?
Jim Kirker
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Re: Hoodlum tui kills another in Petone street gang fight.

Postby Jim Kirker » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:37 pm

There was thread on dead Tuis a while back.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8033&hilit=dead+tui
Jim_j
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Re: Hoodlum tui kills another in Petone street gang fight.

Postby Jim_j » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:01 am

It's surprising there aren't more casualties they way they fly a breakneck speed when chasing each other.
I guess it's possible with the fight you saw Ken that the casualty did hit the ground first and that killed it - rather than actually being throttled?
That Petone is a rough area though....

cheers
jim
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Ken George
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Re: Hoodlum tui kills another in Petone street gang fight.

Postby Ken George » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:06 pm

We didn't see how they both got to be lying in the middle of the street but when we got to them they were breastbone to breastbone, both flapping and the one bird with it's beak firmly chomped down on the other's neck, right behind the head. It was also kicking like crazy (both birds lying on their sides facing each other.) We watched for a while and it was only when I realised they were in imminent danger of being squashed by traffic that I moved over to intervene. By that time the fight had come to it's conclusion. I did find it interesting that the alpha bird had the other one around the neck, not by a wing or a foot or by the tail. I guess if you want to deal your opponent out of the game permanently you go for a critically vulnerable part of the anatomy. That kind of instinctive brain stem knowledge goes way way way long way back down the evolutionary tree.....I might be reading too much into the situation, or then again, maybe not.

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