Feeding Frenzy

Sorry I’ve been out of internet the past 2 weeks or so due to… certain people watching inappropriate videos. (By inappropriate, I may possibly mean hilarious videos of bicyclists being knocked down by antelopes.) In the weeks that have passed, chicks burst into being, chicks died, eggs cracked, sun came up and oh yes. New Zealand won the rugby world cup.
But before all that, oh how it rained….

from 2 weeks ago:
It’s been pissing buckets lately and a cold clingy atmosphere has has been hanging around the place. It makes work jolly tedious when you’re constantly damp, brushing past vegetation which makes you even more wet than the rain itself. Suddenly, paperwork seems a lot more exciting. Although I do actually leave the bunkhouse before noon… can’t say the same for some other people.

Well, I don’ really have a choice in the morning. In rainy and wet weather, the birds need you even more. Part of my work here is to change the bird feeders every morning. We put out sugar water for the Hihis. The more common bell birds, also nectar feeders and similar sized, enjoy the free buffet as well.

The rain supposedly washes away the nectar from flowers, leaving the birds to depend more on feeding stations. So today I set off, armed with soda bottles of sugar water (you up end them on what is essentially a hummingbird feeder), drove off to the six feeding stations I have to refill.

I arrived, soaked to the skin (I unwisely decided if I was going to get damp, forget wearing a rain coat, just a bikini, t-shirt, shorts and sandals in 16 degree rain. Pneumonia anyone?) faced with about forty hungry Hihis and Bellbirds perched on the branches around the feeder baying for ..sugar water. A potential scene straight out of The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. I clean the feeding station, and birds start fluttering and bouncing across my head, chittering beside my ears. Hurry hurry!

When I finally shut the cage of the stations (to prevent larger bullying birds like Tuis from getting in) the feeders are swarmed with birds. I counted at the very least twenty birds in a fluttery sipping orgy inside the station. Quite a sight! I would have tried to get a better photo, but the rain wasn’t electronics-friendly.

After changing six feeders and skedaddling around muddy puddles, I looked not unlike something the cat dragged in during monsoon season. Definitely an “I Love Birds” day. Only thing that keeps me going.

Bell Bird and Hihi Feast. Can you spot the two different species?


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