Tui injury and death.

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Jim Kirker
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Tui injury and death.

Postby Jim Kirker » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:57 pm

The almost fresh body of a dead tui was on the path at Van Damme's lagoon in Auckland today. It was under tree where a tui was calling and then chased off a myna. I had heard a tui there three weeks ago and seen it chasing an eastern rosella. The body was intact and I found no sign of injury apart from an opened and apparently incomplete head, as if its brains had been eaten. I suspect the tui was attacked and killed by a another animal, possibly a myna and wondered if the injury is characteristic of a particular predator. A predator trap was on the ground under nearby trees and there was a predator control notice at the entrance to the reserve three weeks ago.
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Dead Tui, Van Damme's Lagoon, Auckland 02/12/18
P1090503.JPG (422.1 KiB) Viewed 274 times
P1090502.JPG
Dead Tui with fractured skull, Van Damme's Lagoon, Auckland 02/12/18
P1090502.JPG (684.53 KiB) Viewed 274 times
les
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Re: Tui injury and death.

Postby les » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:44 pm

not what I would describe as ''almost fresh''?
Jim Kirker
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Re: Tui injury and death.

Postby Jim Kirker » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:23 am

The smell wasn't all that strong, the tongue was dry and rigid and I could easily spread the wings, no ants or maggots, belly not swollen. My impression was it had died recently, maybe within a day or so. What caused the damage to its head ? Did it happen after death from another cause ? Was it throttled (feathers on the side of its neck and head are missing) and the brain then eaten ? I am interested to know if others have seen this and whether the injury is typical of attack by another bird.
I'm reading Adam Nicolson's book on seabirds at the moment which refers to Jasper Parson's article in British Birds "The Herring Gull is a notorious killer during the breeding season. Young chicks are repeatedly struck on the head or often gripped by the neck and worried until dead".
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Steps
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Re: Tui injury and death.

Postby Steps » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:57 am

Doubt if a myhna or a couple.. we have had tuis in out tress nesting , feeding all yr round for couple decades.
The aerobatics of tui chasing of other birds , and cats is rather impressive.
Now magpies, thats another story.
Which would also explain the damage to the carcass
A couple magpies inhabited a large norfolk pine around 200 meters away. After a few rather violent aerial fights, our tuis where slowly emmergrating elsewhere....
Then after a couple dawn what sounded like muffled gunshots from around the pine... the tuis then immigrated back again over the next 6 or so months to reestablish the family flock.
Our main tree they established in was a 70yr old banksia around 10/12m, with 7/8m 20/25yr old puriri, totroa, magnolia G., loquat, kakara.. plus a few others mostly native.
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Jim Kirker
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Re: Tui injury and death.

Postby Jim Kirker » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Yes maybe it could be a magpie, but I've been visiting the lagoon for a year or so and haven't seen or heard any, although they aren't far away at Hamlin's Hill and Mt Wellington. There are some big old swamp cypresses by the lagoon and plenty of more recently planted natives with pohutukawa where the tuis sing.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Tui injury and death.

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:30 pm

It looks like it's been dead a while and it's pretty much impossible to distinguish cause of death from scavenging or other injury after death. On a path like that I wonder if it's been stood on, or biked over.
A starling I saw killed by a myna didn't have injuries like that. They were more soft tissue facial injuries.
A blackbird I saw killed by a magpie didn't have injuries like that. It appeared virtually intact but I suspect had a broken neck.
Rodents will eat brains, but again, still wouldn't be able to say if it was the cause of death or an opportunistic snack.
Apart from predators, tui in town die from many things, including infections from unhygienic feeders and being struck by vehicles. A tui killed by another tui in Hamilton had no visible injury but appeared to hit its head on a concrete footpath.

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