Parsonbird (Prosthermadera novaeseelandiae)
The Tui is a noisy bird that is often very territorial and aggressive, chasing other Tui and birds away from good food sources. They belong to the honey-eater family and are endemic to NZ. Tui are important pollinators of many NZ trees as they can fly large distances especially over the winter. Presence of Tui is a good sign of successful restoration of bush blocks. They were known by the early English setters as the parsonbird, because their dark body and white throat feathers resemble a priests robes and white clerical collar.
Tui appear black from a distance but have iridescent green and purplish sheen to their plumage when seen close up. They are easily recognised by their white throat feathers. Males are larger than the females.
At Cornwall Park they can be seen everywhere although they frequent the trees around Huia lodge, the restaurant, and in the rewarewa trees below the Rangitoto steps when they are in flower. Tui are widespread and abundant throughout Auckland as long as there is a good balance of ground cover, shrubs and trees.
Tui feed on nectar, fruit and insects. They are often seen feeding on seasonal flowering plants, like kowhai and pohutakawa.
Tuis have a distinctive song but can mimic other bird calls or sounds that are predominant in their habitat. Their common call is loud and varied with bells, grunts, chortles and gurgles. They have a large range of calls that are not able to be heard by the human ear.