Mo­not­o­nous tui song due to city liv­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JODI YEATS

For tui liv­ing in cities, the daily grind means they have more bor­ing tunes than their for­est cousins.

Ur­ban tui tend to have more songs that are loud and sim­ple than those in the for­est.

A study, led by Sam Hill, finds tui in forests have com­plex songs, which have more sex ap­peal.

This is im­por­tant if a guy tui wants to com­pete with oth­ers for a nest in de­sir­able for­est real es­tate, with its abun­dant food, nec­tar and in­sects (Aus­tral Ecol­ogy, Jan­uary 4).

‘‘Fe­males choose males by the qual­ity of their song. If a male sings a com­plex song with a lot of notes, it in­di­cates a good qual­ity male,’’ Hill’s su­per­vi­sor, se­nior lec­turer at Massey Univer­sity, Dr Wei­hong Ji said.

An­other the­ory is tui in forests have more tui neigh­bours to learn tunes from. It could also be the rich food en­vi­ron­ment means they have bet­ter brain de­vel­op­ment, so sing bet­ter.

A post on Neigh­bourly.co.nz at­tracted a cho­rus of sup­port for the ob­ser­va­tion some city­d­welling tui have a call of one or two notes that can be­come an­noy­ing.

Michael Raynesw posted that he gar­dens all over Auck­land and has no­ticed this one or two-note song.

A theme in the dis­cus­sion was the the­ory this could be an ado­les­cent tui learn­ing how to sing. How­ever, Ji said young tui sound rough and their songs change from day to day.

ROCHELLE TAIT

Ur­ban tui tend to be louder and have a more sim­ple song than their for­est cousins.

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