In one of my latest post (Golden Flicker), my dear friend Su from over at Zimmerbitch and I had a little chat about New Zealand´s national bird – the kiwi – and how she would prefer another one as such, since the kiwi is not only nocturnal but also flightless which contributes to it not being often seen by people.
If it were up to her, she would choose the Tui instead of which she has a pair in her garden.
The tui is a large honeyeater that appears at first glance completely black except for a small tuft of white feathers at its neck and a small white wing patch, causing it to resemble a parson in clerical attire.
On closer inspection however it can be seen that the tui have brown feathers on the back and flanks, a multicoloured iridescent sheen that varies with the angle from which the light strikes them, and a dusting of small, white-shafted feathers on the back and sides of the neck that produce a lacy collar. Also the wings and the tail feathers appear more blue and green than black when the light strikes them at the right angle.
The Tui in my water color also has just fed on a New Zealand flax which is why there´s quite a big stain of yellow pollen on his head.
The nectar of New Zealand flax sometimes ferments, resulting in the tui flying in a fashion that suggests that they might be drunk. 😉
Tui are considered to be very intelligent, much like parrots. They also resemble parrots in their ability to clearly imitate human speech, and were trained by Māori to replicate complex speech.
Male tui can be extremely aggressive, chasing all other birds (even bigger ones) from their territory with loud flapping and sounds akin to rude human speech.
Most of my bird water colors that I have so far shared here with you took about 2 days to get finished.
This however was a 4-day bird!
How about your national birds? Do you like them or would you prefer another one instead?