As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Photo of rare white tūī causes sensation online among New Zealand bird watchers

The beautiful bird was photographed in a kōwhai tree near Taumarunui by Simon Rapley in 2017, and his image was shared online in a native animals Facebook group on Saturday - to the delight of many.
Mr Rapley, who works in foresty, said he came across a large group of about 40 tūī flocking around a kōwhai tree, and saw what he initially thought was a dove flying among them.
"I just thought ... that doesn't seem right, because tūī are quite aggressive birds and they wouldn't tolerate a dove hanging out with them - so I got a pair of glasses out and had a look, and it was a tūī," Mr Rapley said.
"It's something you don't see every day."
Mr Rapley said the white tūī seemed to be quite aggressive compared to the other birds.
"At one point it was in a tree by itself and any other tūī that came near it, it chased them off ... I just assumed that it might have some kind of weakness due to its colouring, but no, it seems to be a pretty hardy individual," he said.
Mr Rapley said he saw the same bird in the same location both in 2016 and in 2017 during the spring, but had not seen it in 2018, as he had not spent as much time in the area while the kōwhai were flowering.
Guy Tichborne, another photographer and bird watcher, shared a striking image of a pure white fantail he photographed north of Auckland last month.

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