A tui feeds from a kowhai in the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
The population of tuis, kereru and bellbirds is making a
huge comeback in Dunedin, Otago Conservation Board member Dr
Jim Williams says.
Dr Williams said the population of native birds had increased
a lot, particularly in the past five years.
''I came to Dunedin from up the Mackenzie country in 1962 and
I never saw a tui in the wild in the city until probably five
years ago and suddenly they are everywhere.''
He said it was most likely because of the growing popularity
of planting a variety of natives like kowhai and flax, which
provide food sources at different times of the year.
''Twenty years ago nobody was planting natives.
''Now, things Maori are being looked on a lot more positively
and that includes planting native trees and shrubs and
Project Gold started two years ago with the aim of increasing
the native bird population in Dunedin and that would also
provide more food for tuis in coming years, Dr Williams said.
He said species such as flax also needed to be planted to
ensure there was a food source to sustain the bird population
in the late autumn and early winter when kowhai was not