Local wildlife

It’s been an unusually cold winter so far, as I’m sure we can all testify. Here in Christchurch we’re regularly getting frosts in the -4C to -6C range – that’s really not the norm for this neck of the suburban “woods”.

So I’ve been keeping an eye on my feathered friends, and I recently decided they could do with a bit of a boost. I hung up a a bird feeder ball couple of days ago, expecting it might take them a while to notice it.

Silly me! Within minutes the local gang of waxeyes fell upon the feast of seeds and fat, and it’s been rare to see it devoid of birds in daylight hours since. I don’t live near any bush so I have a distinctly urban range of feathered visitors, but they’re all good company and I don’t mind sharing the garden (and occasionally a portion of my produce!) with them.


Today there’s the usual crew of tauhou or waxeyes (I like to think they might be the families who hatched in my pittosporum last summer, and learned to fly going from the grapevine to the feijoa), plus a couple of sparrows, five starlings and some gorgeous goldfinches. My resident Mr Blackbird is hanging around too, vigorously (and occasionally spectacularly) guarding his territory from other black feathered interlopers.

My elderly cat, never the best hunter (sorry Mr P!), has decided that dignity is best preserved by pretending he hasn’t seen the cheeky birds at all, as he sits with his back firmly to the mob.

Check out this beautiful image taken by Felt maker NZArt of the waxeyes feeding on their windsticks (below), which do double duty as gorgeous kinetic sculptures and bird feeders. What birds do you see in your garden? Canny urban denizens or sweet-singing bush dwellers?