14 June 2009

Tui (the bird, not the beer)

TuiNew Zealand's endemic tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is an endemic honeyeater, one of three resident (and endemic) species (the other two are the korimako or bellbird (Anthornis melanura) and the hihi or stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta)). "Tui" is also the name of a well known beer (also endemic), but let's not go there... This bird was feeding on harakeke (NZ flax) along the driveway in midsummer a few years ago.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


the watercats said...

The colours in this are just beautiful, I love the fact it looks like an ancient tapestry.. another stunning creature too!

Patricia said...

The curve of the bird's bill echoed by the curve of the buds on the branch is wonderful. Another keeper!

Zhoen said...

Is that a bit of flax, or it's tongue?

Brocaded bird.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks watercats. The colours on tui often aren't apparent; the light needs to be right to see them at their best. Also, although it's only hinted at in this photo, some areas of the plumage are beautifully iridescent. They're gorgeous birds, with wonderful personalities.

Patricia, thanks :^) Harakeke nectar is a major food source for tui, and it's likely the curve of the bill facilitates extraction of nectar.

Zhoen, that's its tongue. And the brocade around the neck and shoulders is another aspect that isn't easily seen from a distance. It's as if the more attention one pays to the bird, the more it rewards the attention.