Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

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Bozz
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Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby Bozz » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:21 pm

Hi everyone, we live on the edge of Cascade Falls bird reserve in North Waitakeres, Auckland. For a couple of years the tuis in the valley have had the most monotonous call of "toot toot toot toot" on one note only, over and over and over. We can't hear the rest of (the pretty parts of the song) but just the loud toot sounding all through the valley like a child learning the recorder who only knows one note. Is this normal? There is nothing around here that makes that sound that they could have mimicked, it's sooo quiet here which makes the incessant one note toot toot toot toot from before 5am until well after dusk all the more nerve wracking :/. Is there anything we can do or play to get them to pick up something different before we pull all of our remaining hair out!!?
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Ian Southey
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby Ian Southey » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:47 pm

Sorry Bozz - I think that's normal. It certainly sounds like what happens here in Papakura at that time.

Ian
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zarkov
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby zarkov » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:13 pm

Just be thankful you don't have the "crying baby" tui mimic perched outside.

I nearly bought a shotgun just for that bird.
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David Riddell
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby David Riddell » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:40 am

I think a lot of the tuis around Auckland are picking up urban, industrial noises (and other noises of human origin such as crying babies - that sounds awful!) and incorporating them into their songs, because that's what they mostly hear. Some of the repetitive toot toots might be derived from reversing alarms on vehicles, for example. In places that have bellbirds and kokako, tuis adopt a lot of their notes. Probably not a good idea to play kokako calls so close to the reintroduced Ark in the Park population (you wouldn't want to confuse the kokako at a critical stage in their population's re-establishment), but perhaps you could try downloading some bellbird calls from NZ Birds Online or xeno-canto.org, and playing them at high volume in your back garden. No guarantees, and even if it works it might take a while. Would be interesting all the same - if you try this, let us know how you get on.
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Steps
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby Steps » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:41 am

We are in very urban Sth Auckland with a huge banksia and large puriri....Yes the tui are the 1st to wake and last to go to sleep....but sure they dont roost or nest local.
Most of the year we have a flock of between 5 and 12...althu a lot of the calls could be monotonous... they do a lot of chatter and long distance calls to break that up
Friends in Parnell have a single puriri tree with a single tui most of the time, and yes they have that same monotonous call all day....
Tui do mimic, but I dont think the call is as such, more a long distance call out to see what others are in the area. Many of our aviary birds used to do so....and call back between aviaries out of site on the other side of the house/ section.
What we have to watch is walking out the back door , and certain small areas around the section. The tui drop out of the tree, across the back door, lift over the car port, then drop before going up into or over the rear trees.
This is like a aircraft fixed flight path... regardless what moves into it....more than once we have been hit with a wing as they go past....even mowing the lawn with the old 1950s noisy lawnmaster reel mower.
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Charlotte
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby Charlotte » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:55 am

Years ago when living in Alfredton, we had one that sounded exactly like a telephone ringing, as soon as you'd run inside it would stop. But as soon as you got outside again it would start up again. Pretty sure it was laughing to itself every time we fell for it.
helinnmae
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby helinnmae » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:29 am

Are the weather conditions much different this year? I'm reading an article about changes in bird calls and one point was "atmospheric conditions can affect sound transmission properties of the habitat, as sound attenuation increases with the increase in temperature, and is reduced with increasing humidity". The tui also makes some notes people can't hear, so perhaps the tui song is more varied but you won't be able to hear it?
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zarkov
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby zarkov » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:02 pm

Certainly been some increased humidity in the North this year.

On track for the wettest year on record.
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Bozz
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby Bozz » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:03 pm

They're back with a vengeance this year. The whole (huge) valley is dominated with their call only: a squeaking, extremely resonant one tone "plonk plonk plonk scrape" throughout the silent valley, cutting into daily life from 4.15am until after dark. What I really want to know is, is this an anomaly. We live in an area that is bush reserve, with only one small line of houses opposite an entirely empty bush clad valley, within the Waitakere Ranges reserve, so the sounds of urban living definitely do not prevail out here, this valley is very quiet, therefore I would imagine the birds would have a melodious, varied repertoire. To me, the repetitive, sharp plonk all day fits what the urbanised tui are said to have - fewer notes, increased louder, restricted, harsh notes to cut through background noise. The other thing I can't reconcile is that the research says that tui with territories that border on other tui territories have more varied song, in addition, that it is the males with the most interesting calls that are most successful, yet the Te Henga tuis are prolific and our valley borders on Waitakere bushland so, I assume, many, many other tui territories. I am aware that much of the tui call is not as audible to the human ear, but even given this, I still cannot understand why, while tui in most other areas have at least 2 or 3 louder notes, ours are limited to one stabbing tone, year after year. I am trying to get hold of an expert who might be able to advise me (before I end up in a lunatic asylum). I'll keep you all posted!
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Re: Repetitive, one-note tui call driving us nuts

Postby boneywhitefoot » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:38 pm

its better than tramping all over the Pureora Forest Park chasing Kokako tui
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