Bird SongsTui song with wing whirr at end
New Zealand status: Endemic
Conservation status: Not Threatened
Tūī are an iconic New Zealand species found no where else in the world.
Tūī look black from a distance but in good light you'll see the blue, green and bronze iridescent sheen - especially on the head and wings. Distinctive white throat tufts are called poi and make tūī easy to identify. The bill and feet are black, and the eye dark brown. Male and females look very similar, and juveniles have a browner body and lack the throat tuft.
The song is a loud and complicated mix of tuneful notes interspersed with coughs, grunts and wheezes. Bellbirds/korimako have a very similar song, but this is more fluid and lacks and loud coughs, grunts and wheezes of tūī. Listen out for noisy whirring of wings in flight.
Male blackbirds can be mistaken for tūī, but you can differentiate them by the lack of throat tufts, orange bill and uniform black feathers.