The tui bird is a passerine, or perching, bird, and one of the largest members of the honeyeater family. The male tui bird's plumage is a shining metallic green with bluish-purple reflections on the shoulders, rump, and upper tail-coverts. The throat has two tufts of white and the middle of the back is bronzy brown. The male measures about 12 3/4 inches long, while the female is slightly smaller. Female tui birds have the same general coloration but the metallic tints are not so bright and there is more brown in the plumage. Tui birds are very intelligent birds and can imitate human speech. Nectar is the tui bird's primary diet but tui birds also eat fruit, insects, pollen, and seeds. Tui birds are known for their marvelous, unusual song - they can whistle, click, chuckle, gurgle, and trill.
Tui birds live in dense forests, but will tolerate remnant patches, regrowth, exotic plantations, and well-vegetated suburbs. They are endemic to New Zealand, where they are common but declining due to widespread habitat destruction and predation by mammalian invasive species.