Tui: A Nest in the Bush is an intimate and rare look at the beginning of a tui's life. It is presented as a series of photographs showing the 37-day development of a pair of tui from eggs to fledglings.
The author is a photographer living at Lake Tarawera, surrounded by native forest and an abundant variety of bird life. One spring morning in 2011 Meg noticed a tui disappear into a Pseudopanax bush with a twig in its mouth, and discovered that the nest, while well hidden from below, could be seen from her balcony. By carefully removing some leaves from the bush she was able to get a clear view of the nest, giving her a rare opportunity to visually record the beginning of a tui's life.
The journal entries that accompany the photographs describe how the author spent many hours talking to the tui while it was sitting on the two eggs, hoping that the bird would become familiar with her voice and learn to trust her. This also enabled her to observe the variety of food that was being fed to the chicks, and how the parents always returned to the nest with food via the same trees.
The growth and development of tui chicks has never been photographed in this way before, and this fascinating account will be of great interest not only to those with a particular interest in ornithology, but to everyone who enjoys the native bird life in their gardens.
Listen to a 20-minute interview with the author on Radio New Zealand.
Meg Lipscombe is a photographer living at Lake Tarawera, near Rotorua, and is president of the Rotorua Camera Club. She has received a number of national and international photographic awards, and has published several photographic books of her travels in the USA. Meg received a Fellowship from the Photographic Society of New Zealand in recognition of the excellence of this series of tui photographs.