Bird of the Year time

The Mohua or Yellowhead took out the Bird of the Year title in 2013. Photo by Craig McKenzie

Selwyn bird lovers are being asked to get their votes in for this year’s Bird of the Year competition.

The annual competition, run by Forest & Bird, asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face.

Bird of the Year coordinator Kimberley Collins said our birds are in real trouble.

“Their habitats are being destroyed and introduced mammalian predators such as stoats, possums, and rats kill their eggs, young birds, and even adults,” she said.

“There’s also the threat of climate change, which has the potential to limit their habitat range, increased pest numbers and, in some cases, reduce their ability to forage for food.”

This year, the conservation status of each bird has been added to the competition’s website and Ms Collins said this will educate New Zealanders on just how many native birds are threatened.

“I think a lot of people will be surprised to see how many of our native birds are at risk. Tragically, a third are in danger of becoming extinct.”

Bird of the Year is one of Forest & Bird’s most popular annual events and attracts over 20,000 votes each year. Last year’s winner was the kokako, which flew into first place with 3,614 votes.

Bird of the Year voting opened on Monday and closes on October 23 at 5pm. The winner will be announced the following day.

For more information and to vote go to birdoftheyear.org.nz.
 


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