Nation’s favourites strut stuff
The feathers are about to fly as birds fight it out for Bird of the Year.
The month-long poll opened recently and has already garnered heavyweight support.
Comedians Te Radar and Raybon Kan and poet Kate Camp will be championing their favourite native birds in the annual Forest and Bird poll, which aims to raise the profile of New Zealand’s threatened and much-loved birds.
Forest and Bird conservation advocate Nicola Toki says: ‘‘Our native birds face an incredible array of threats – including predation, fishing by-catch and habitat loss, so this poll gives the New Zealand public a snapshot of what’s special about our birds, the threats they face and how people can be involved in giving them a chance to thrive.’’
South Waikato Branch chairperson Anne Groos says that pest control’s importance is high, and that Jim Barnett Reserve has a team who lay baits to control the predators such as rats, stoats and possums.
‘‘If we did not carry out this work we would lose birds to predation,’’ she said.
Previous winners include 2005 winner the tui, fantail in 2006, grey warbler in 2007, kakapo in 2008, kiwi in 2009, kakariki in 2010 and pukeko last year.
The poll closes on October 10 at 9am.
REIGNING CHAMPION: The Pukeko was crowned Bird of the Year last year. The 2012 poll is now open.