5 Reasons You Should Vote for the Banded Dotterel
My name is George Hobson. I love birds, and am the campaign manager for the amazing pohowera (banded dotterel) in this year’s Bird Of The Year competition. I am really really enjoying this awesome role!
I’m a twelve year old “bird nerd”, so I love anything to do with birds AT ALL! I do many other “birdy” things, like bird banding, leading night tours at Zealandia, and attending Birds New Zealand (Ornithological society of New Zealand) meetings.
I recently saw banded dotterels on Eastbourne beach in Wellington. They have a breeding colony there and I totally fell in love with their cute personalities and the adorable way they run… then stop… then run… then stop… Very cute, especially because they only weigh about 60 grams and are just 20 cm long.
So, here are 5 reasons I think you should vote for the adorable bandies!
1. They are one of the cutest birds in New Zealand.
Their chicks are so cute. Their legs are far too long for their body and they have fluffy, grey feathers. They look nothing like the adults and it’s really hard to imagine them growing up to be the amazing bird they are!
But that’s just on the outside, they have awesome personalities too! They are curious, wary (a good thing for NZ birds), ADORABLE and their run is so cool!
2. They migrate.
These little creatures actually migrate, how cool is that seeing they only weigh about 60 grams?! Their normal migration path is all along the New Zealand coasts to estuaries and inlets but some migrate to Tasmania and South-East Mainland- Australia , that is 1600 km plus! Can you imagine flapping your arms for 1600 km?
3. They don’t have a proper nest.
These cuties lay their eggs in the sand, they don’t even have a proper nest. They just make a “nest scrape” which is exactly what it sounds like, only a scrape in the sand. Their eggs are then camouflaged into the sand very well so be carefull next time you’re walking in the same area as Banded Dotterels!
That also means their eggs are very vulnerable to predation from dogs and hedgehogs etc.
4. They’re not well known.
These birds are not widely known about so raising as much awareness as possible is a great thing. Banded Dotterels are so amazing it is such a shame that people I have told get quite a surprise that they exist. You can help their name be spread around New Zealand, it will mean that people pay more attention to where they stand whilst around Bandies.
5. They’re declining.
Currently these birds aren’t endangered and are only classed as “nationally vulnerable”, but the population is on a decline so this needs to be stopped. With your help (yes I will say it again!) we can stop this decline and turn it around. All you need to do is vote for the Banded Dotterel and tell your friends to do the same, how easy is that???
Thanks to Craig McKenzie and Peter Reese for the Banded Dotterel photos.