Female Tui targeting spiders

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Female Tui targeting spiders

Postby Weka1 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:31 am

At this time of year, prior to the breeding season I have observed female tui fluttering and landing on the windows surrounds and alcoves of our house. They have not been taking way nesting material, but appear to have been targeting spider webs and presumably the spiders within them.
I assume the extra nutrients may help with breeding/egg laying and wonder if this behaviour has been recorded before.

Likewise it is more noticeable at this time of year that females and less often males are working across the top of the kanuka canopy, and other trees where they are through the canopy, and appear to be engaged in feeding behaviour. They are not getting nectar nor nesting material, but are methodically searching through the canopy top.

We have in past years had two attempts by tui to nest within two metres of our house. Both nesting attempts have been abandoned and a nest eventually built further away from the house. Maybe we were too noisy, but it did give a unique opportunity to observe nest building from the comfort of our house 'hide'.
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Re: Female Tui targeting spiders

Postby Jim_j » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:12 pm

Had one just the other day going along our aluminium deck balustrade searching for( presumably) spiders, beetles etc on the underside of the top rail.
Somehow it managed to cling to the narrow struts, looking on the underside of the rail and making its way a meter or two along - I could see it clearly caught a couple of things.

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Re: Female Tui targeting spiders

Postby Olwen » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:42 pm

We've noticed tui collecting spiders from webs around our windows too. Glad to hear others have seen it as well.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Female Tui targeting spiders

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:34 am

Tui eat more invertebrates during breeding season. Kanuka twigs are also a favoured nesting material and they check a lot of them, often giving them a little test before find those that are just right, so even if not seen taking twigs away they might be looking for them (or just hunting inverts).

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