The distinctive noise of a tui in flight may catch you unaware as you walk around the Mounga. Tui have a reputation for being raucous and noisy as well as having a very unusual and distinctive call. Some notes are so high that they are not audible to the human ear whilst others are made up of whistles, groans, crackles, creaks, chuckles, chortles and wheezing to name but a few. Possessing two voice boxes means the tui can perform a wide range of noises. They can even mimic human speech.
Tui are unique to New Zealand and belong to the honeyeater family, which means they feed mainly on nectar from flowers of native plants such as kowhai, puriri, rewarewa, kahikatea, pohutukawa, rata and flax. Tui contribute a valuable role in the pollination of many native plants and trees. Occasionally they will eat insects too.
Taranaki Mounga are working hard protecting these and many other native species with a recently established network of 2,160 Goodnature A24 self resetting rat traps over 1,000ha on the mountain – the largest network of these traps in the world.
Did you know
- Tui will travel up to 30 kilometres to feed
- The chicks grow fast and fledge from the nest in about 23 days
- Research shows that, like many native bird species, where there is no predator control breeding success rate is low at between 10 – 20% of chicks surviving