I have spoken before about one of New Zealand’s most colourful native birds. As first, they appear black, but look a little more closely and you see the white ruff of feathers on their throat and beautiful brown and green-blues on their back.
They fly noisily through the air and land on the trees and plants which are in flower, such as flax (as shown above) or the pohutukawa or kowhai trees to drink their nectar.
The most distinctive thing about the Tui though is the song. From tweets to whistles to croaks it is incredibly varied. And to top it all, when travelling around the country, I have actually observed regional dialects. The Maori apparently used to keep them as pets at one time and they are known to be great mimics.
Even the people in NZ don’t seem to have regional dialects…it is like travelling from Doncaster to Barnsley in the UK and thinking you might have entered an alien land. One up to the Tui!