Become a citizen scientist for the summer and join in the NZ Tui Project.
"Some rumours have been raised about the behaviour of tui, which has prompted Matt Halstead, Fabiana Kubke and John Montgomery from the University of Auckland to determine whether these rumours are, in fact, correct." There are fairly detailed instructions to follow (has to be near a man-made structure; date/time of sighting etc) but it's nothing too difficult. It would be a great project for the kids. Send them outside with hats and sunscreen and a notebook for a couple of hours.
If you're not sure what a tui looks like check out some of the photos on Flickr. They mostly look black from a distance and often the only way to distinguish them from a blackbird is the white tuft under their throat. If you're lucky enough to get close to one you'll discover that they're actually blue-green under all that black.
The Department of Conservation has some more information about the tui (and other birds.) This tour company (Kiwi Wildlife tours) has a gallery of bird sounds so you can hear what they sound like.
Once all the data is in the scientists will reveal all and let us know whether the rumours are true. Anyone got any speculations as to what they're looking for?
Index New Zealand anniversary
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