A Blue Bird in my Garden...........................! by Roy  Massicks

A Blue Bird in my Garden...........................! by 


This female Tui is one of a pair that nest annually in our large Totara tree
only metres from our back deck. She is quite a bit smaller than her mate
( Mr Nasty or the Dark Assassin !) They are actually becoming very territorial at the moment and chasing the other birds away. Obviously nesting is not far away with spring looming.
The Tui is slightly larger than the Blackbird and has disctinctive plumage of irridescent green and blue, beautiful in strong sunlight but in shade they look black. The ruff around their neck is quite noticeable hence their other name. the Parson bird. The bird in the photograph was taken early in the morning while it was quite cold and her plumage is fluffed up like a fur coat.

Location: Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

Panasonic- LUMIX, GH2 at 300mm, 100×300 lens, 1/20, f/13, iso 1250.
From a single RAW image.


  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksover 2 years ago

  • David Davies
    David Daviesover 2 years ago

    Another beautiful bird portrait, Roy! You are really good at these!

  • Got ya ! First on the list – that was quick David. Thank you very much for the compliments but really the new camera and lens should take the credit. I’m thinking now along the lines of a wireless remote shutter release to catch those timid birds.

    – Roy Massicks

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 2 years ago

    Beautiful capture Roy… the blossoms are about to burst open… How do you know this is a female?… we have one that seems to live in the garden, we have not seen any others…

  • Thank you so much Andrea – re the difference between male and female ? To be quite honest an expert could tell you but I couldn’t tell one from the other if I was walking down the road. The male has been here as long as we have, seeing off every other Tui that appears in his territory. Then about two years ago he was seen with another Tui that was smaller in size – they are now constant companions
    even to the extent that when they feed on the nectar in the cherry trees, one will stay in the nesting tree ( the Totara ) on guard, while the other one feeds. They then change over, all the while they constantly chatter and sing to each other. It’s only when you see them together that you can tell the female as the smaller one. my book of words tells me that they are rare in Beech Forests. Am I right in
    thinking that you have that type of forest in your area ?
    Incidentally we have at least a dozen in our area which we see on our daily walks but there are native trees everywhere here so could be the climate that keeps them up north.

    – Roy Massicks

  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98over 2 years ago

    Wonderful photo Roy and it’s great to see how you get full value out of that 300 lens. We get tiny brilliant blue wrens visit us on a regular basis but theyre never still long enough to get a decent photo. This one’s a cracker.

  • Thank you very much Peter. Yes, the lens was the best investment I ever made, after the wife of course that is…..lol ! Your little Wrens, try finding out what they like to feed on then scatter some around your garden. As Andrea said to me, once they become used to you and decide you’re harmless they will let you get a lot closer. The Silver Eyes now let me sit about two metres away and will still feed but the other, bigger birds are much more wary. Good luck !

    – Roy Massicks

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    WONDERFUL capture

  • Thank you Larry.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...over 2 years ago

    A wonderful capture dear Roy.x

  • Thank you so much Catherine for your lovely comment. We don’t often see them fluffed up like this but it was a cold morning.

    – Roy Massicks

  • snapitnc
    snapitncover 2 years ago

    thats a beauty capt,cheers mike

  • Many thanks Mike – so pleased you like it.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Poverty
    Povertyover 2 years ago

    Our blackbirds are much better mannered. They ask other birds nicely to go and find nesting spots in other gardens. Obviously went to better schools than the Tui did. Do they hell, believe me birds are the same the world over and nice to read your story of this one. By the way Roy, it’s Autumn next not Spring. Silly Billy. Cheers.Tony.

  • I meant OUR spring Tony, not northern hemisphere ! And, we know how to have spring and SUMMER with plenty of sunshine….so there ! Seriously, Blackbirds are a darn nuisance by scattering the garden all over the paths but I would hate to be without birds.

    – Roy Massicks

  • trish725
    trish725over 2 years ago

    Great capture, Roy! Love her colouring :-)

  • Thank you so much for the comment and favourite Trish – I am still waiting to post a Tui with the sun on it and then you will see colours !

    – Roy Massicks

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 2 years ago

    A regal-looking lady. She is a beauty, & I love her jewelled collar. Hang onto that lens!! Great stuff, Roy.

  • Many thanks Sheila – so pleased you like our Tui. Their collars are what makes them stand out. Will post one when I can take one with the sun full on its coat and then you will see vivid colours ! Re lens, best thing sinced sliced bread ! I am now looking for a wireless remote shutter release so I can take those timid birds !

    – Roy Massicks

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