Bird of the Year: Let the Countdown Begin!
It’s nearly that time of year again! Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition will kick off on October the 5th, so get ready to vote for your favourite bird.
Over 50 birds will fight it out to be crowned our Bird of the Year. This year it’s about more than glory as the winning bird will be featured on a t-shirt by Mr. Vintage with a portion from every t-shirt going to Forest & Bird to help save even more of our precious native species.
We also have a range of exciting campaign managers and sponsors.
Heritage Expeditions will continue their support for the competition, campaigning for the Campbell Island Teal. This tough little duck is found only on Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean. It was once thought to be extinct until conservationist (and Heritage Expeditions founder) Rodney Russ pulled a female bird from behind a moving tussock in 1975. The Department of Conservation quickly moved birds to a predator-free sanctuary and began a breeding programme, while removing rats from Campbell Island. In 2004, a small population were re-released on the island where they have been thriving ever since.
Kokako Coffee are getting behind their namesake – the kōkako – who they are very proud to feature in all of their branding. The kōkako is the only surviving member of the New Zealand wattlebird family and is best known for leaping rather than flying through our native forest. Over the past 20 years, it has been marked in decline – but thankfully, Forest & Bird and the other ecological trusts are working hard to reverse this trend. Kōkako are renowned for the clarity and volume of their song, which carries far across the forest. In the early morning, a pair may sing a duet for up to half an hour with other kōkako joining in to form a “bush choir”. In the spirit of their namesake Kokako Coffee plan to rally the troops and hope to earn the kōkako the coveted spot of Bird of the Year.
Kōkako are renowned for the clarity and volume of their song which carries far across the forest. In the early morning, a pair may sing a duet for up to half an hour with other kōkako joining in to form a “bush choir”. In the spirit of our namesake we plan to rally the troops and hope to earn the kōkako the coveted spot of Bird of the Year. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @KokakoOrganic or visit our website www.kokako.co.nz
ZEALANDIA Eco-Sanctuary will be teaming up with comedian and presenter Andrew Lumsden (Te Radar) to promote the inquisitive and charismatic kākā. ZEALANDIA first introduced kākā to Wellington in 2002, when 14 birds were released. Since then, their populations have soared and the fenced sanctuary recently celebrated banding over 600 chicks as part of their breeding programme. It’s thanks to ZEALANDIA that you will hear the screech of kākā flying over our capital city!
Dragonfly Data Science are getting behind the taiko (black petrel). Sporting beautiful glossy black plumage and a contrasting pale bill, this bird is a common sight in the outer Hauraki Gulf during the breeding season. The black petrel breeds on Great Barrier Island, and is caught by commercial fishing. According to analysis carried out by Dragonfly, black petrel is the New Zealand seabird most at risk of population decline as a result of fisheries bycatch. Reducing the bycatch of this species is a priority.
Kererū Brewing will be backing everyone’s favourite pigeon – the kererū. During the competition, they will be donating beer to bars in Wellington, with all proceeds going to Forest & Bird. If you’re in Wellington, make sure to follow Kereru online to find out where you can sample their delicious range of craft beers and support the competition by voting for kererū as your #BirdOfTheYear.
So who will be your favourite? The website goes live on October 1, and voting opens at 9am on October 5! Make sure you’re signed up for our email newsletters to find out more about these awesome birds and how you can get behind your favourite one during Bird of the Year.