Bird of the Year

Royal Forest & Bird’s annual poll to find the country’s favourite bird is underway. 

The Pukeko is leading so far with 621 votes.

Half Pie, campaign manager for kārearea, the New Zealand falcon, recorded an interview with Kakarapiti, a young male of the species.

Voting closes on October 13th.

9 Responses to Bird of the Year

  1. Alan says:

    Thanks for the mention. Would I be over-egging it a tad to say, as I have to some other farmers, the following:

    Why have some boring bird win (like the pukeko, currently in the lead, or the kakariki, whom hardly anyone has actually seen) when we could have the falcon?!

    The falcon is a useful reminder that New Zealand wildlife is not all an urban-dweller’s fantasy of pretty, colourful, and endangered songbirds, but also a reflection of the nature we’ve also seen outside town: fierce, uncompromising in pursuit of a goal, protective of kin, self-reliant, and endlessly adaptable.


  2. david winter says:

    As the campaign manager for the bellbird I can’t stand by as you give special treatment to this cold-blooded killer!

    Actually, the kārearea’s just a gorgeous bird and an infinitely better choice for bird of the year than a local variant of a bird that lives from the Mediterranean to Indonesia and everywhere in between.It just can’t compete on song, or as a suburban reminder of the wonderful creatures in our forests.


  3. Bearhunter says:

    I have a soft spot for the fantail. And I’m completely unsurprised that the irredeemably psychotic stitchbird has garned null points thus far.


  4. homepaddock says:

    Is the bellbird vegetarian, if not it must kill insects or bugs?

    But killer or not, it’s hard to beat it’s song.


  5. robertguyton says:

    I thought I saw an Actbird yesterday, but it was just a dead duck!

    My vote goes to the crake – have you seen their toes!


  6. Alan says:

    (I have to admit to being just the tiniest bit fond of the bellbird too. Even after that time when one snuck up on me when I was at the top of a ricketty wooden ladder in the apple orchard – love those student holiday jobs – and tooted at me from about two feet away, an evil look in its red eye. I almost spent the rest of the holiday in traction, but managed to regain control of the ladder just in time.)


  7. david winter says:


    Yes, it may seem odd for someone that dedicates a post a week to some invertebrate or other should give extra value the lives of the ~0.05% of animals that happen to have spines, but I understand this is a political battle and a certain degree of hypocrasy is expected 😉

    (Bellbirds mainly eat necar and fruits, but you often see them pecking about branches for moths and other bugs.)


    It’s nice to hear you have let your enmity for one of these birds colour you appreciation of the rest of them


  8. homepaddock says:

    Your point re cold blooded killer is proved, David:


    “The birds began nesting in the Zealandia sanctuary, in Karori, last year and have eaten both native and introduced birds.

    Zealandia sanctuary trustee Dr Colin Miskelly says because the endangered falcons need such a large range they were never on the park’s breeding wish-list.

    Their arrival and abundant breeding has been a mixed blessing, he says. They have so far eaten a bellbird – a native – and some blackbirds and chaffinches.”


  9. david winter says:


    Well, I think that about makes the case…

    (it’s actually pretty cool that Zealandia is supporting these birds, the goal of conservation should be to maintain/restore ecosystems, not to make living museums)


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