Rare white tui photographed near Taumarunui

Rare white tui photographed near Taumarunui
Photo credit: Simon Rapley

The bird community is in a flutter over a rare spotting of a white tui.

Simon Rapley, who works in the forestry industry, was outside when he spotted and photographed the tui bird in a kowhai tree near Taumarunui in October 2017. 

Mr Rapley only recently had the photo developed and passed it on to a colleague who shared it on Facebook - much to the delight of bird lovers. 

He says it was a part of a flock of about 40 birds and described seeing the bird as a "once in a lifetime" experience. 

Simon Rapley spotted a white oystercatcher near Colville in 2010.
Simon Rapley spotted a white oystercatcher near Colville in 2010. Photo credit: Simon Rapley

"I haven't seen a lot of them, it's not often you see it, once in a lifetime," he told Newshub.

Mr Rapley said there has been a lot of interest in the picture. And although sightings have happened before he said it's certainly not common to come across a white tui. 

And it's not the first time Mr Rapley has captured a photo of a white bird. In 2010 he photographed a white oystercatcher near Colville.

It is thought the light colouring is caused by the condition leucism, which is often confused with albinism.

Newshub.