New Zealanders asked to vote for their favourite native bird in annual Bird of the Year competition.

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.

Now in its 11th year, the competition raises awareness for New Zealand’s much loved native birds and the threats they face.

“Tragically, many of our birds are threatened. Their habitats have been destroyed and introduced mammalian predators such as stoats, cats, possums and rats prey on eggs, young birds and adults,” says Kimberley Collins from Forest & Bird.

Much like a general election, the competition includes all the drama and tactics that you might see in a political campaign. Well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders act as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds and will go to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird.

“The competition can be fierce, and people find all sorts of ways to promote their bird,” explains Kimberley.

“We have had people make videos, run serious online campaigns, design posters, read poetry in the street – we even had one campaign manager get a tattoo of their bird!”.

The Bird of the Year competition is one of Forest & Bird's most popular annual events and attracts over 10,000 votes each year.

Voting will begin at 9am on Monday the 5th of October and close at 5pm on Sunday the 25th of October. The winner will be announced on Monday the 26th of October.

Follow the competition at www.birdoftheyear.org.nz