Campbell's Bay Community Forest
There are now lots of birds in our forest. You can hear their lovely calls before you even get past the first tree. These are some of the birds we have seen.
Tuis are beautiful birds with glossy violet, copper, green and blue feathers. They have two fluffy little white pompoms underneath their necks.
The common size is about 30cm, the size of a ruler. They love nectar, flowering trees and flax, and they will eat insects or fruit. They are quite common birds and you will see them in parks, at home, or even gardens. They get attracted to home feeding stations at people's houses. They lay three or four eggs and they only take 14 days to hatch. Then 11 days after being born, they leave their nests.
Maori used to keep them in cages (what a shame!) The tui has a beautiful song. Not only does it have its own beautiful song, but it can imitate others calls too, such as every bird in the forest. It does turkeys, geese, crowing roosters, cats, dogs, and even the cough of an old man! It was also the first bird to be able to sing from dawn to dusk. Maori hunted tuis for their meat and for their outstanding feathers, but Maori weren't the only ones to eat them - early bushman did too. Ever since 1873 the tui has been protected.
The tui can live for up to 12 years. The tui is what people call a honey eater. We should all plant trees to give the tui food.
Picture by Stephanie
Fantails are cute, friendly and curious. Their long tails are used to catch all the small bugs in the trees. Fantails are quite tame and are seen in nearly all the trees. They are also really fond of water.
The fantails are also called piwakawaka which is Maori for fantail.
Fantails are greyish/brownish and have little bits of white all over them. Fantails LOVE water and they love the rain. The fantail's song is high-pitched and squeaky. Fantails lay around three or four eggs, take up to 14 days to hatch, and live from three up to ten years old. Fantails are always curious to see what happens if they dive-bomb horses or tease cats, and sometimes they even go into houses and sit on people's heads and shoulders! Fantails are easily recognised with their long, fanned tail and their small, round bodies. They are found in New Zealand and in the Campbell's Bay School Community Forest. Fantails will follow you when you walk in the forest. They jump and skip and flit around and are really fun.
We love fantails.
Silvereyes came from Australia. They pollinate flowers and help spread seeds. They eat aphids, fruit spiders and nectar. In one day, the parents may feed their babies 250 times. They can live to be old enough to go to Intermediate School which is 11 years old. They have a white ring around their eyes and have green, grey and brown feathers.
They are 12cm long, which is about as big as a sparrow, and they weigh 13g, which is about the same weight as 100 grapes.
Blackbirds have a call that is a quick chink-chink. Blackbirds normally eat on the ground and eatworms, slugs, and snails. They also eatground insects and spiders. Blackbirds like to eat fruit when they can. The blackbird is about the length of a rugby ball - 25cm. Blackbirds have nests which are made of twigs, grass, roots, moss, leaves and mud. They can live to 15 years old, which would mean if you we're a kid you would be fifth form in high school. The female sits (incubates) on the egg for about two weeks, and both parents feed the chicks. At thirteen to fifteen days. the chicks are ready to leave the nest. There are two to six eggs in each group, and they are bluish-green and freckled with reddish brown. The male blackbird is black with a bright orange beak, but females are mostly dark brown.
We have blackbirds all over New Zealand and in our Community Forest.
Another name for wood pigeon is kereru. Wood pigeons live in New Zealand forests and we have some at our school.They are herbivores and enjoy berries, fruits, flowers and leaves. They eat the fruit from 70 plants.
Kereru look like they have metallic, green feathers on their heads and little, red claws and patches of blue, white and grey. They have big, white chests. I think they are really pretty birds because of all their colours.
They only lay one egg at a time. They have been protected since 1921, so no can kill them because there are hardly any left. Maori people sometimes eat them at special ceremonies.
The kereru is the only bird that can eat the big seeds of trees like karaka, taraire, tawa, puriri and miro. They eat the seeds and then the seeds go through their stomachs and get covered in compost, so when they land on the forest floor, the seeds will start to grow and we will get new trees. We definitely need to plant lots of trees that the kereru likes, to help get more kereru.
The other special thing about these birds is that they make a great big whooshing sound when they fly, because they have big wings. We are really lucky to have some in Campbell's Bay Community Forest. I think they are there because we are close to a big park called Centennial Park and they probably live there.
Starlings were introduced to New Zealand in 1862. At dawn they sometimes will fly many kilometres to get food. They eat lots of insects that live on the ground, and also the fruit and berries of pohutukawa, flax and bottlebrushes. Their eggs are blue and they can lay between two and seven.
We also have thrushes, rosellas, and other birds that we haven't managed to identify.
If you don't have many trees at home to provide food for birds you can still help them. You can make a little bird table hanging from a tree (so cats can't get the birds while they are eating) and put food out for the birds. You can put ripe fruit, sugar water or pre-soaked bread. Don't put dry bread because it swells up in the bird's crop and can be bad. Birds like to eat at the same time each day, especially in the morning. They also like fat or cooked meat.
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