Tui sugar feeder

tui at dishI’ve mentioned before the sugar feeder I have in my garden for tuis. It was just a dish (above) which had its drawbacks so I’ve made the switch to a different system. It took only a day or two for the tuis to catch on. The next photo shows the transition.

tui learning tui tongue

I poured sugar water all over the dish to keep the tuis interested till they found the proper holes. In the right hand photo you can see the long tongue of the tui as it licks its ‘lips’.

Tui at sugar feeder The new feeder keeps out the sparrows and starlings and occasional silvereyes that were sharing the sugar water and I only get through about a third to a half as much. I put enough for two days at a time in the bottle whereas I used to have to fill the dish every day.

The recipe I use is simple; one tablespoon of raw sugar dissolved in one cup of water. I’ve seen recipes with a lot more sugar and one with a little less. This recipe seems to keep them coming during the winter but last spring when there were other good natural nectar sources such as kowhai (Sophora sp) or pohutukawa (Metrosideros sp) the tuis deserted me for a while.

So give it a go – now is a good time to start.


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