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Forest & Bird Announce Mid-way Results For Bird Of The Year 2020

Forest & Bird has released the top ten front-runners in their annual Bird of the Year competition.

“After just five days of voting, any bird could still soar to the top of the rankings, except the penguins which would waddle.” says Bird of the Year Spokesperson Laura Keown.

“There have already been over 25,000 votes cast. Just like the general election, a lot of people are leaving nothing to chance and getting their vote in early.”

As of Friday 6 November, the top ten birds are:

  1. Toroa/Antipodean albatross
  2. Kākāpō
  3. Kakaruia/Black robin
  4. Kārearea/New Zealand falcon
  5. Pohowera/Banded dotterel
  6. Kākā
  7. Kererū
  8. Whio/blue duck
  9. Tūī
  10. Pīwakawaka/fantail

“I can tell you it’s still a close race. We have a record number of campaigns this year, and votes have been flying in from around the world.

“This hasn’t stopped one of New Zealand's rarest forest bird, the karariki karaka/orange fronted parakeet, from falsely claiming an early victory on twitter, perhaps emboldened by the bumper breeding season that doubled their population to 300 birds last year,” says Laura.

“Human politicians are getting in on the avian action as well, although there appear to be divisions at the highest levels," says Ms Keown. "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is sticking with the black petrel, the bogan bird of the seas, while deputy PM Grant Robinson is supporting the hihi, and the newly appointed Minister of Conservation, Kiri Allan has ‘come out’ on twitter to support the whio, New Zealand’s endemic whitewater specialist duck.

“Most people don’t know that three-quarters of our birds are threatened with extinction,” says Laura.

“The birdoftheyear.org.nz website shows just some of the amazing and unique species that call Aotearoa home.”

“It's an important duty for all of us to look after our birds and the places they live so they can be here for future generations, and future Bird of the Year elections.”

© Scoop Media

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