Tui

The tui is endemic to New Zealand (only found here) and are adaptable birds. They are not only found in native forests but also in suburban areas, particularly in winter if in search of food. They were found on Banks Peninsular but are no longer present there. The Chatham Islands sub species of tui is larger.

The tui has a beautiful call similar to bell birds & kokako, so are often heard before seen. The tui, is fond of the nectar from flax and kowhai flowers. Also puriri, rewarewa, kahikatea, pohutukawa and rata. They also occasionally eat insects. Tui whose primary food is nectar, like some insects and geckos, play an important role in pollination.

Scroll down for videos, including Woof Woof the talking Tui. Woof Woof has a permanent wing injury and lives at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre. He started talking at about 18months and talks to everyone. Phrases include: "Come up here, quick". "How's your cold?", "Give us a kiss, mmm", "Where's the Karkariki? (parakeet in the aviary next door)" . He also whistles Pop Goes the Weasel.
Tui in flight © Paul Knight
Tui feeding on flax nectar © Tim Whittaker
Young Tui © Chris McLennan
Tui in flight © Paul Knight