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