Kaitaia man Jody Hunter thought he had lost the art of 'pulling a bird,' until he went to Rangiputa recently.
He was busy building a swimming pool when, to his surprise, and slight alarm, a tūī flew out of the nearby bush and landed on his shoulder.
It stayed there quite happily for some time, then flew away, but came back 20 minutes later for another go.
The bird's intentions were not entirely clear.
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"It pecked me in the eye, then it started digging around my ears," Jody said.
He had seen and heard plenty of tūī in their natural habitat before but had never encountered one at such close range, he added. And he wasn't sure if it was a good or bad omen.
He covered both potential cases by driving home very carefully that day, and stopping in Awanui to buy a Lotto ticket.
He made it home safely and the ticket and didn't win anything, so perhaps it wasn't any sort of omen at all.