Monday, 2 March 2009


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 and is the species' formal common name. The plural is simply 'Tui', following Māori usage. The English name, Parson Bird, has fallen into disuse but came about because at first glance the Tui 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 religious attire. On closer inspection it can be seen - although these photos were taken in dense folliage and are therefore rather dark - that Tui have 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.

These photos were taken at the Beyond The Bridge Cafe on the Eastern end of the Manawatu Gorge when westopped there for lunch on the way to The Nationals. They are the first reasonable photos I have managed to take of a tui in New Zealand (or anywhere else for that matter).


  1. One of the things I miss terribly since leaving New Zealand is the birdsong. I lived on the Kaipara harbour and we were blessed with so many feathered visitors. Last year I managed to get a birdsong cd and quite often drift off to sleep with their songs drifting by. Margaret

  2. Beautiful pics, Sir, very detailed - Thank you - Hope the croquet is going splendiferously, and the weather treating you gently!