Tag Archives: kowhai

A kowhai flower


A heavy squall just passed through and then I found this, my first kowhai flower of the season at Shakespear Park. Will have to watch now and see if the tuis desert my sugar water feeder for the real thing.



Kowhai flowering


I was just reading an old birder’s diary entry written after her walk at Wenderholm Regional Park at this time in 1984 “… there were more tuis than we had ever seen at one time before – dashing about in the trees, feeding on the kowhai (flowers), and all the time keeping up an almost ludicrous chorus of assorted noises”. The flowers at Wenderholm (as elsewhere in the area) are at their peak about now attracting perhaps a dozen tuis to one tree. Tuis  travel widely to seasonal food sources and bicker constantly to get their share. But nearby there may be other kowhai empty or with a single tui and I can’t work out why. Any answers?

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NZ Pigeon/Kereru in kowhai


Pigeons are creatures of habit with their roosting sites and the resulting pile of poo which builds up beneath the roost provides a diary of what they have been eating. If it had its way the New Zealand pigeon would be an all out fruit eater and in some (mostly warmer) parts of the country it is able to eat fruit all year. Flowers also form part of their diet. But when needs must the pigeon will resort to eating leaves. Around the Auckland area kowhai leaves make up a big part of the diet through the winter months. These don’t look very appetising and a quick look at the resulting pigeon poo will show that they aren’t very digestible either, still looking very much like kowhai leaves.  Enough about pigeon poo. A cheerier thought, the same kowhai tree as above will be looking more like the one below in a few more weeks. Yay spring.