Tui Print from Bullers Birds of NZ

Tui Print from Bullers Birds of NZ

Print Code: 9848

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Native Bird Print

Image size in millimetres: 210 x 300

This small print is from Thorndon Fine Prints. It was published with the accompanying notes on the origins of this image: Sir Walter Lawry Buller (1838 - 1906), The Tui (Prosthemadera Novae Zealandiae). Named by Captain Cook the ‘Parson Bird’ because of the tufts of white feathers at its neck and the shining bluish and greenish-black plumage, the Tui is the largest of the family of honey eaters native to New Zealand. Its rich and varied song, its talent for mimicry and its aerial acrobatics have long endeared it to New Zealanders. The Tui was of great importance to Maori, not only as a source of food and for its plumage, but also was often kept in cages, being trained to speak and even welcome visitors onto the marae! Joseph Banks, one of the naturalists on Captain Cook’s first voyage of discovery to New Zealand in 1769, recorded that “its lack of luxuriant appearance was made up for in the quality of its melodious song”. It frequently imitates the song of other birds, along with everyday sounds such as whistling, crying etc. In autumn the tui eats berries and fruit, but in spring an unforgettable sight is large number of Tui feeding from the native flowering tree, the Kowhai. During the years of European exploration and settlement of New Zealand the Tui was the most frequently illustated of the native birds.

Perhaps the most beautiful of these illustrations was the original of this print, the handcoloured lithograph published in 1873 in A History of the Birds of New Zealand by Sir Walter Lawry Buller. Born in New Zealand, just prior to European colonisation. Buller became a judge in the Maori Land Courts, but he was better known for his achievements in the studies of New Zealand birdlife and the publications of books on the subject. In 1873 he combined with the talents of naturalist and artist J. G. Keulemans to publish the first edition of A History of the Birds of New Zealand - thirty six handcoloured lithographs representing the birds native to New Zealand.

Shop for more avian art prints like The Tui print from Buller’s “Birds of NZ” in these collections at New Zealand's art print specialists:

John Keulemans Prints (from Buller’s Birds of NZ)
Bird Prints