As I break from my studio work and have a coffee, I look out into my tree surrounded garden.
There are a family of Tui who keep me entertained. The males strut their stuff and that adolescent boy is just finding his voice as I write this webpage.
The company I keep has inspired a series of New Zealand native bird designs.
These copper foiled suncatchers are perfect as gifts or awards.
Piwakawaka ( Pee’-waka-waka)
The fantail is common throughout New Zealand It is one of the few native bird species in New Zealand that has been able to adapt to an environment greatly altered by humans. Fantails use their broad tails to change direction quickly while hunting for insects. They sometimes hop around upside-down amongst tree ferns and foliage to pick insects from the underside of leaves. Their main prey are moths, flies, spiders, wasps, and beetles, although they sometimes also eat fruit. They seldom feed on the ground. The fantail often follows another bird or animal (or human) to capture insects disturbed by their movements. Their friendly and inquisitive cheep is often heard in my garden and I see them every day. Sometimes their curiosity means that they seem to be checking me out!NZ$ 120.00 EachCan be made to order
New Zealand Tui
Tui are unique to New Zealand. Easily recognised by the distinctive white tuft under their throat and their beautiful metallic blue-green sheen. They feed mainly on nectar from flowers of native plants such as Kōwhai, Puriri, Rewarewa, Rātā, Kahikatea, Flax, and Pohutukawa so are commonly found in native forests, bush reserves, and suburban areas They will fly large distances, especially during winter, for their favourite foods.
These beautiful birds can often be heard singing their wonderful melodies long before they are spotted.NZ$ 120.00 EachCan be made to order
The kākā is a large parrot. Flocks of boisterous kākā gather in the early morning and late evening to socialise - their antics and raucous voices were well known to Maori. Kākā are acknowledged as one of the most musical of all parrots with a variety of melodic whistles and warbles along with the more typical parrot-like screeches. Their diet includes berries of all kinds, seeds, the nectar of kōwhai, rātā, flax and beech honeydew. They also like grubs and are often seen digging invertebrates from rotten logs. Kākā play an important role in the forest by pollinating flowers. They require large tracts of forest to survive and habitat loss from forest clearance for agriculture and logging has had a devastating effect.
Also, having evolved in the absence of mammalian predators, kākā have many characteristics that make them easy prey. Predators such as stoats, rats and possums eat chicks and eggs. Browsing by introduced pests such as possums, deer and pigs has reduced the abundance of food. Introduced wasps compete with kākā for honeydew which is an essential part of their diet, especially if they are to breed.
The Department of Conservation has a national programme to co-ordinate Kaka recovery and captive bred birds are beginning to be released into the wild.NZ$ 120.00 EachCan be made to order
New Zealand Kingfisher
The sacred kingfisher is one of the best known birds in New Zealand. A distinctive bird with a green-blue back, buff to yellow undersides and a large black bill. It has a broad black eye-stripe, adults have a white collar. The underparts vary with wear; orange buff to buff when fresh but fading to cream or white when worn.
A wide range of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and vertebrates are taken, mostly from the ground, depending on the habitat. Aerial foraging and foraging from flowers and/or leaves has been reported. Kingfishers have been recorded diving up to 1 metre into water to take prey.NZ$ 120.00 EachCan be made to order
New Zealand Woodpigeon Kereru (Ke'-re-roo)
This large and distinctively -coloured pigeon is a familiar sight to many New Zealanders as it has a widespread distribution through the country, being present in extensive tracts of native forest, and rural and urban habitats, including most cities.
In general the upper parts of adult kereru are blue-green, with a purple-bronze iridescence on the neck, mantle and coverts of the wings. The underparts are white with a sharp demarcation between the white and blue-green on the upper breast.
Foods include buds, leaves, flowers and fruit from a wide variety species, both native and exotic.NZ$ 120.00 EachCan be made to order
Handcrafted Moa light catcherNZ$ 120.00