Tuis are native to New Zealand and are one of the country's most iconic bird species.
They are unique
They have a distinctive appearance, with iridescent feathers that can appear green, blue, and purple, and a white tuft of throat feathers.
Tui are known for their unique and melodious song, which often includes a combination of bell-like notes, clicks, and wheezes. They can serenade you sweetly one minute and sound like a sneeze mixed with a cough the next. They have a vocabulary of more than 300 songs, but can aslo mimic anything from other birds songs to human speeach, cars and phones.
Early Maori would tame Tui and teach them hundreds of words, including sentences to welcome and entertain guests.
They are very smart
Tuis are known to be highly intelligent and have been observed using tools, such as sticks or twigs, to extract insects from tree bark. Research has also shown that urban tui have changed their habits and become more street smart, by nesting high up in trees where cats, dogs and rats cant easily reach, while Tui in predator free areas like Ulva Island tend to nest all over the show, sometimes even just above the ground.
They are acrobatic
Tuis are excellent fliers and can perform acrobatic aerial displays, including flips and twists, during courtship or territorial disputes.
In flight the tui can twist, dive and swoop, opening and closing its wings. It can fly silently, but older or more dominate males can switch on a whirring sound by spreading their notched outer wing feathers.
The more impressive the whirr the more luck they may have impressing the lady tui.
They are warriors
Tui are fiesty warriors, and can be extremely aggressive towards other birds. They have a strong territorial nature and will vigorously defend their feeding and breeding areas from other birds.
Males have been known to fight to the death. Such scuffles start off in the trees before the birds fall to the ground stabbing each other with their sharp claws.
These birds have a long lifespan, with some individuals living up to 15 years in the wild.