Anyone Need A Parson Around Here? - Tui - NZ

AndreaEL

Gore, New Zealand

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Please view large…The tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is an endemic passerine bird of New Zealand. It is one of the largest members of the diverse honeyeater family. The name tui is from the Maori language name tūī and is the species’ formal common name. The plural is tuis, or tui following Māori usage. The English name, Parson Bird, has fallen into disuse but came about because at first glance the bird appears completely black except for a small tuft of white feathers at its neck and a small white wing patch, causing it to resemble a parson in clerical attire. This is the first Tui we have seen at Tranquillity, it is fair to say I was pretty excited… Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Southland New Zealand 21st June 2012
Anyone Need A Parson Around Here? – Tui

On closer inspection it can be seen that tui has faded browner patches on the back and flanks, a multicoloured iridescent sheen that varies with the angle from which the light strikes them, and a dusting of small, white-shafted feathers on the back and sides of the neck that produce a lacy collar. Tuis are considered to be very intelligent, much like parrots. They also resemble parrots in their ability to clearly imitate human speech, and were trained by Māoris to replicate complex speech. Tui are also known for their noisy, unusual call, different for each individual, that combine bellbird-like notes with clicks, cackles, timber-like creaks and groans, and wheezing sounds. Song birds have two voice boxes and this is what enables them to perform such a myriad of vocalisations. Some of the huge range of tui sounds are beyond the human register. Watching a tui sing, one can observe gaps in the sound when the beak is agape and throat tufts throbbing. Tui will also sing at night, especially around the full moon period. Nectar is the normal diet but fruit and insects are frequently eaten, and pollen and seeds more occasionally. Particularly popular is the New Zealand flax, whose nectar sometimes ferments, resulting in the tui flying in a fashion that suggests that they might be drunk. They are the main pollinators of flax, kowhai, kaka beak and some other plants.
I am hoping he will stick around so I can take some better shots, the fog began to roll in and the light became a little tricky… Not to mention that he is a little shy, but he will soon learn that the Tranquillity menu serves his type of food…

Anyone Need A Parson Around Here? – Tui

Tui – New Zealand

Artwork Comments

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