Late 19th century | Parson bird

URL: https://datastore.landcareresearch.co.nz/dataset/421fc3a5-4908-45bf-a586-1dfa730a7cae/resource/8bc392a4-bba0-4539-92f4-b2088d30d885/download/tui_thumb_colonial3_f01.jpg

As the European colony in New Zealand grew, ministers became more common. The tuft of white feathers at the tūī’s throat reminded settlers of the white collar of a minister or parson. The name parson bird became fashionable for the tūī.

In his famous book, The History of the Birds of New Zealand, Walter Buller (1888) described the tūī: “To those familiar with the bird, this name [parson bird] is certainly appropriate; for when indulging in its strain of wild notes it displays these ‘bands’, and gesticulates in a manner forcibly suggestive of the declamatory style of preaching.”

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Data last updated February 22, 2019
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