Sunday, 2 June 2013


Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

Photo by Sid Mosdell (Wikipedia)

Common name:
tui (en); melífago-tui (pt); méliphage tui (fr); mielero tui (es); tui (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

This species is endemic to New Zealand, where it is found throughout North Island, along the western and southern coasts of South Island, in Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, Raoul in the Kermadec Islands and in the Auckland Islands.

These bird are 30 cm long. The males tend to be larger and weigh 95-200 g while the females weigh 70-165 g.

The tui is mostly found in temperate and sub-Antarctic forests, but also in open rural areas and within urban areas.

They mainly feed on nectar, but will also eat fruits and sap. Occasionally, they also take invertebrates.

Tuis breed in September-January. The nest is an open cup made of twigs and sticks, and lined with leaves, ferns and moss. It is placed in a fork or the outer branches of a tree or tall scrub, 2-6 m above the ground, often well hidden among thick vines. The female lays 3-4 white or pink eggs with reddish-brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 14 days. The chicks fledge 11 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 2.500-10.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and the effects of introduced species, but it is not considered threatened at present.

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