The Māori name 'tīeke ' relates to the sound of their common call: ti-e-ke-ke-ke-ke

Member of wattlebird family – relatives of kōkako and (extinct) huia

Despite mainly eating insects, tīeke also eat fruit and nectar, dispersing seeds and pollinating flowers – an important role in the forest.

Tīeke groups develop their own dialects but appear to have no difficulty understanding each other when brought together through translocations. Territorial male birds sing a rhythmical song - more than 200 types of male rhythmical song have been recorded.

Their distinctive markings and unique dialects make them among the most iconic of New Zealand’s forest birds. Forty years ago their numbers had dwindled to just 500 - but today, there are more than 7,000 tīeke on predator-free islands and fenced mainland sites.

 

Video

The sweet sound of conservation success

Tīeke were once near the brink of extinction and are now seen as a conservation success story.

Video

The pūrākau (legend) of Māui and Tīeke!

This Māori pūrākau is narrated by the extremely talented Anika Moa and tells the tale of how the tīeke came to have a reddish band of colour on its back.