Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae)


French: Méliphage tui German: Tuihonigfresser Spanish: Mielero tui

Merops novae Seelandiae

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Nova Seelandia = Queen Charlotte Sound, South Island, New Zealand


Proposed race kermadecensis (Kermadec Is) generally considered inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. n. novaeseelandiae (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – Kermadec Is (Raoul I); New Zealand and many inshore islands, including (around North I) Hen and Chickens Group, Mokohinau Group, Great Barrier, Little Barrier, Noises and Tiritiri Matanga and Kapiti I and (around Stewart I) Ruapuke I and Muttonbird Group; Auckland Is.
  • P. n. chathamensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1928 – Chatham Is (Pitt, Mangere, Rangatira; recently re-established on main island of Chatham#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    27–32 cm; male 62–150 g and female 58–105 g (nominate), male 89–240g and female 89–170 g (chathamensis). Large honeyeater with sturdy,... read more


    Both sexes utter loud, complex and highly varied songs, including rich, liquid warbling notes, bell... read more


    Mainly mixed, often dense podocarp-broadleaf, podocarp-broadleaf-beech or podocarp-beech forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly nectar or honeydew, also invertebrates (mainly insects) and fruit seasonally; occasionally seeds and pollen. On Tiritiri Matangi I,... read more


    Season spring-summer, onset of breeding likely influenced by flowering of nectar-producing plants, e.g. on Tiritiri Matangi I building... read more


    Apparently resident, but described also as partly migratory; movements possibly largely local.... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread on North I, in N & W of South I and on Stewart I; more scattered elsewhere in New Zealand. Abundant in Kermadec Is (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2019). Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).