Go to the new Waikawa News site.
Sign up for the monthly Waikawa Newsletter.

31 He aha tērā? Tūī

Large blue-tinted bird with white tufts at throat on a flax spear.
Miraz Jordan

This boisterous, medium-sized dark coloured bird chortles and squawks, cough, grunts and wheezes when it’s not singing prettily. Commonly seen feeding on flax flowers, it has an erratic whirring flight. It’s best known though for the white tufts at its throat. He aha tērā? What is that?

On a flax stem, medium sized dark bird with distinctive white wattles on its throat.

Photo by Kezna Cameron. Used with permission.

Answer: it’s a tūī, kōkō:

Identification: Length: 30 cm; Weight: 125 g (male); 90 g (female)

Similar species: Eurasian blackbird, Bellbird

A large dark honeyeater with a decurved black bill, dark brown eyes, black legs and feet, and black head, underparts, wings and tail showing iridescent blue-green on the head and wings. The upper back and flanks are brown with a bronze sheen, the nape and sides of the neck have filamentous white feathers, and there are two curled white feather tufts on the throat.

This item was updated on Wednesday 23 March 2022

I live at Waikawa Beach and love all the wildlife, fauna and flora.