New Zealand names:
Tūī are unique (endemic) to New Zealand and belong to the honeyeater family, which means they feed mainly on nectar from flowers of native plants such as kōwhai, puriri, rewarewa, kahikatea, pohutukawa, rātā and flax. Occasionally they will eat insects too.
They are important pollinators of many native trees and will fly large distances, especially during winter for their favourite foods.
Tūī will live where there is a balance of ground cover, shrubs and trees. They are quite aggressive, and will chase other tūī and other species (such as bellbird, silvereye and kereru) away from good food sources. http://www.doc.govt.nz/tui
They are the only surviving members of the order Sphenodontia, which was well represented by many species during the age of the dinosaurs, some 200 million years ago. All species exept for the tuatara declined and eventually became extinct about 60 million years ago.
Tuatara are therefore of huge international interest to biologists. They are recognised internationally and within New Zealand as species in need of active conservation management.