The Tui is a large forest bird native to New Zealand. 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. On closer inspection it can be seen that tui have brown feathers on the back and flanks, a multicolored iridescent sheen that varies with the angle from which the light strikes them; there is also a dusting of small, white-shafted feathers on the back and sides of the neck that produce a lacy collar.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a nectarivore is an animal that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of the sugar-...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Congregatory animals tend to gather in large numbers in specific areas as breeding colonies, for feeding, or for resting.
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Tui are found through much of New Zealand, particularly the North Island, the west and south coasts of the South Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. Other populations live on Raoul Island in the Kermadecs, and in the Auckland Islands. Tui live in broadleaf forests but can also be found in small remnant patches, regrowth, exotic plantations, and well-vegetated suburbs. They are one of the most common birds found in urban areas, parks, and sometimes in orchards.
Tui are sedentary and diurnal birds. They are usually seen singly, in pairs, or in small family groups, but will congregate in large numbers at suitable food sources, often in company with silvereyes, bellbirds, or kererū (New Zealand wood pigeon). Males can be extremely aggressive, especially in favored feeding tree, chasing all other birds from their territory with loud flapping and sounds akin to rude human speech. Birds will often erect their body feathers in order to appear larger in an attempt to intimidate a rival. They can even mob harriers and magpies. Tui are powerful flyers; their flight is quite loud as they have short wide wings that give excellent maneuverability in the dense forest they prefer. Tui are 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. Songbirds have two voice boxes (syrinxes) and this is what enables them to perform such a myriad of vocalizations.
Tui are monogamous and form pair bonds. During the breeding season that occurs in early spring (September and October), they perform a mating display of rising at speed in a vertical climb in clear air, before stalling and dropping into a powered dive, then repeating. Females alone build nests of twigs, grasses, and mosses. The nest is usually located in a tree fork or dense scrub and is lined with feathers and soft grasses. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs which she incubates about 12-15 days. The chicks fledge 2 weeks after hatching but remain with parents for some time more. During this time the male continues to feed them while the female lays a second clutch.
Populations of this species have declined considerably since European settlement, mainly as a result of widespread habitat destruction and predation by mammalian invasive species. Predation by introduced species still remains a threat, particularly brushtail possums (which eat eggs and chicks), stoats, the common myna (which competes with tui for food and sometimes takes eggs), and rats.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total tui population size is around 3,500-15,000 individuals. The population on Rangatira Island is estimated to number 278 mature individuals. Currently, tui are classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but their numbers today are decreasing.
Due to their diet habits, tui are the main pollinators of flax, kowhai, kaka beak, and some other plants in their local ecosystem.