Tui apparently hawking

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Jim Kirker
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Tui apparently hawking

Postby Jim Kirker » Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:58 pm

This evening fine and overcast with only a few light breezes I saw a tui flying repeatedly a few metres horizontally from the canopy of an oak in new leaf, hovering momentarily and apparently snapping at something in the air before quickly returning to the tree. I thought it must have been hawking and never noticed this before. Midges around this evening, the first I've noticed for months. Has anyone else seen this ? I have seen them fluttering around tree trunks and believe in search of spiders, but actual aerial hawking ????
fras444
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Re: Tui apparently hawking

Postby fras444 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:46 am

Breeding season will be well into full swing and this is when Tui turn from nectar feeders into "apex" insect predator's... Their young nestlings need that protein for growth and development and this is when adult Tui will start feeding on... well.... catching insects for their young but also for egg development that protein that insects offer is all important for especially female tui leading into nesting...
You will also see the same thing happen in late Summer when you get that summer flush of cicadas in the air... You will see 'especially places like Tawharanui' where tui and red-billed gulls and the like, hawking high up and feeding on the cicadas... fattening up for those leaner winter months.
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Weka1
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Re: Tui apparently hawking

Postby Weka1 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:15 am

Yep. Tui don't just eat nectar.
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kNMtkq8AiU&t=2s
Often see them hunting spiders under the house eves and foraging through the tree tops looking for insects during the breeding season.
Last year tui nested a metre from the house. Photo below. The female especially was often foraging for insects to feed nestlings.
Tui female feeding young DSCN3852.jpg
Tui Feeding young in nest.
Tui female feeding young DSCN3852.jpg (783.19 KiB) Viewed 556 times
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Steps
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Re: Tui apparently hawking

Postby Steps » Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:11 am

I think this is so with many birds.. a mistake many make when keeping pets or in captivity.
When we breed kakariki, stable food was most could be described as the chopped up left overs from the prep of kitchen veggies and fruit.
Feeding each day one became aware of what was being eaten and the left overs.
Come to around mating , nest prep, their intake of meat scrapes, cooked chicken bones, chopps , left over bbq meat increased dramatically as did their demand for high protein nuts and seeds.
This would remain so right thru to weaning.
Kakariki would breed all year round, and those pairs that where , maintained the high protein diets.
The parrot species that breed once or twice a yr, would go back to a high veggie/ seed/ nut diet and only a little meat to supplement.
I think this observation in nature is very important..then apply in captivity.
We where able to breed pairs all yr round for around 3 yrs non stop...and maintain perfect condition...To the extent if stopped breeding, they would get depressed, anxious for months on end.
Yet other breeders (of many species, parrot, finch etc..who maintained consistent seed with few powder additives had issues with condition of hens, egg binding and such.

It was not quite as simple as that thu.. there where other things like access to high acid foods such as diluted apple cider vinegar, spray surfaces and in water. Never established if it was the apple or the cider or the vinegar or just the low (acid) PH similar to natural rain and stream waters. General council water Ph are around the very high 6s up to around 8.5 (other end of acidic.. basic.)

When hormones just start to rise, diet changes, and often dramatically... and nature brings on the protein in insects on schedule.
http://www.kakariki.net
My Spelling is NOT incorrect, it's Creative
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Ken George
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Re: Tui apparently hawking

Postby Ken George » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:56 am

November last year, at Tawharanui, I observed a tui doing an ungainly but surprisingly decent hover manoeuvre around some flower heads on long stems, either taking nectar or small insects off the flower head. The flower stalk was too long for the head to be reached from the ground, but not strong enough to support the tui's weight for it to land. The clumsy hover for 3-4 seconds at a time was the best alternative. Interesting that another post references the Tawharanui tui. I wonder if that's a learned behaviour trait for hawking in that area.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Tui apparently hawking

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:40 pm

They are at it around here at the moment. Often in evenings as inverts take to the air. I've usually only seen individuals doing it, so it was quite a sight when I saw dozens of tūī hawking over pasture around the edge of Maungatautari last November. That was late morning and I have not idea what was coming off the pasture, but the birds were into it.
ZionCooper
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Re: Tui apparently hawking

Postby ZionCooper » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:39 am

Seen Tui hawking quite a bit while down in Queenstown

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