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Pīwauwau Blames Breakfast TV For Endangered Status

Pīwauwau | rock wren is the early leader in the annual Bird of the Year election. Early voting shows the little rock wren is ahead of all other birds, including traditional favourites and previous winners like the kea.

Pīwauwau entered the race as a rank outsider. But she rejects the ‘underbird’ title Forest & Bird and the media have bestowed upon her.

"I’m not an underbird, I’m a wonderbird."

Pīwauwau says breakfast TV is to blame for her endangered population status.

Pīwauwau alleges that birds that come into the big city, such as tui and kereru, or hang out in sanctuaries, such as kiwi and takahe, get regular airtime, but journalists are missing the real news happening in remote alpine locations.

"Look back through your footage, I bet you can’t find any of me," says pīwauwau.

"I’m raising awareness about myself, bobbing about and tweeting IRL on the top of mountains. But TV is not reporting it. I’m never on TV," says pīwauwau.

Pīwauwau is in a close election race for the title with kea. While pīwauwau is a true alpine bird that stays above the bushline in all conditions, the kea often ventures below the snow and rocks.

"I’m New Zealand’s one true mountain bird," says pīwauwau - not that clown parrot that comes down from the mountains to steal windscreen wipers.

Pīwauwau has hired the small Crown agency Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa to run her campaign. Herenga ā Nuku spokesperson Stephen Day says, with pīwauwau’s narrow lead in the voting, this is the best and maybe only opportunity for an underbird to win the title.

"Pīwauwau is a taonga, and this is a unique opportunity for her to get the aroha she deserves from all New Zealanders, and not just those few who’ve trekked into the mountains and seen her," says Stephen Day.

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