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Tui Birds' Neck Ruffs Make Them Look Ready To Take The Stage In 'Hamilton'

Can I please take a moment to be one of those people and note that I've been praising Hamilton for far longer than it's been on Disney+. I saw it live in Chicago, have listened to the album more than 100 times, and have already watched the Disney+ movie three times.

I lead with all of this simply to explain why upon seeing a photo of this bird called a tui, I immediately thought of a Broadway musical set during and after the Revolutionary War.

I mean, doesn't this elegant creature look like they're wearing a crisp, ruffled cravat?

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The tui is a bird found in abundance throughout New Zealand. From after, they look all black with just the white tuft at their throat, but up close you can see them shine with blues, purples, and greens.

Their preferred diet is nectar and honeydew, which they will travel around the islands to get as different plants reach maturity for the season.

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Due to their love of flowering and fruit-bearing plants, tui play an important role in pollination.

Luckily, while many native species have suffered due to the introduction of invasive species, the tui have flourished, since it has resulted in a more abundant variety of fruit trees, etc.

The medium-sized birds are often called "boisterous", which is the nice way of saying that they're kind of dicks.

Instagram | @l.apprentii

Their songs are a mix of notes, coughs, and grunts, and they've developed a habit of annoying raptors with what has been described as a "repetitive scream."


Their "ruffs" are actually a pair of sift white feathers that curl into a rounded tuft shape.

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Similar, though finer, feathers frame the back of their necks.

However aggressive they may be in person, they certainly have a dignified air to them in photos.

h/t: New Zealand Birds Online

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