The kākāpō has won New Zealand’s ‘Bird of the Year’ contest for 2020!
I must admit I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t one of our lesser known endangered birds. It’s so hard to stay impartial when Bird of the Year 2020 was such a hotly contested title. However, it does sit in the corner of my ‘Flying Around?‘ tea bag artwork and keep an eye on the others – particularly at night when the rest are napping
This is a second elected term for the kākāpō after winning Bird of the Year back in 2008, so with all that experience we expect great things of the kākāpō!
The Bird of the Year contest involved 73 different birds, including 6 newcomers to the competition in 2020. I do feel for the Red Knot who was amongst these newcomers. It was the first bird to be eliminated from the contest with only 11 first place votes out of a total of 48,745 “verified votes”. Yes, even Bird of the Year is subject to instances of fraudulent voting!
So a big congratulations to the kākāpō, and let’s hope the Red Knot fares better in 2021 (Although as a migratory species, it could just decide to fly offshore to avoid the politics!).
The Newsroom website has a very detailed article on the breakdown of the election results for Bird of The Year 2020, plus some commentary on trends occurring over past years of this contest. I highly recommend reading their article if you are interested in statistics, politics or NZ birds: