I’ve been getting some excellent feedback on yesterday’s post of the tui in the flowering flax. There has been considerable interest in the shape of the bird’s bill and if I was able to observe the bird making use of it to get at the nectar deep in the flowers. I’ve revisited the rest of the images and have worked with a few more to bring you some of the action.
There was considerable wind and the flowering flax stalk (which was around ten feet tall) was bobbing around accordingly.
The tui was also quite active and was almost constantly in motion. It was fascinating to watch the elegance of its acrobatics.
My buddy Adrian also commented on the backdrop, so I’m adding one more that gives you more of an idea of what made the background—it’s the snowy slopes of Mount Ruapehu and one final tui portrait shot.
Actually, the whole session started out with my planning a simple image of the flowering flax head with Mt. Ruapehu in the background, and as I was setting it up, the tui suddenly appeared and everything took on a whole new life. I’m sure my photo angel had a hand in its arrival at such an opportune moment. Thanks again, Frances!
Great photos. The tuis are very versatile when drinking nectar – they love doing it upside down too.
Thanks, Raewyn! When we were kids, an old wives’ tale had it that being upside down while drinking would cure hiccups (hiccoughs). I’ve never heard of a tui with the hiccups, so I guess it must work!
Very striking backdrop, Gary – but you did right in keeping it out of the main shots, it would have been a distraction from the plant and the bird. Adrian
The bird was actually pretty patient with me as I cautiously moved around to try to get the best backdrop possible for each successive angle. As I recall, he stayed in the several flax plants in the group for 3-5 minutes. What an experience!
Lucky you to have found a tui willing to stay on flax flowers for 3–5 minutes.
I know! They must have been particularly succulent to have enticed him to linger longer (and make him a stronger singer).
For the sake of pictures, better “linger longer” and “stronger singer” than “wayward winger.”