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Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year/Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau begins 9:00 am Monday, 2 November. 

Forest & Bird is asking New Zealanders to vote for their five favourite native birds in an annual competition that aims to raise awareness of the threats facing New Zealand’s iconic species. 
 
Enthusiastic New Zealanders will be campaigning for their chosen bird using creativity, humour, and some dirty politics. 
 
“Our native birds are incredible! Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year is everyone’s chance to get to know and love them even more,” says Bird of the Year spokesperson Laura Keown. 
 
“Most people don’t know that three-quarters of our birds are in trouble or facing extinction. New Zealanders love our birds, and right now the birds need our help.” 
 
Online campaigns have already kicked off for the feathery candidates. The Penguin Party is making announcements, variable oyster catcher is circulating some questionable statistics, and kākāriki karaka has a bold new look. Takahē is even appealing to the youth vote by getting on TikTok (@tiktakahe).  

“Our birds have been a great team in 2020. I heard the kororā refrained from surfing in Level 4, the piwakawaka was flitting around checking on all the neighbours, and the South Island kōkako continued social distancing (having not been seen since at least 2007).” 

“Last year was the first time a seabird had won Bird of the Year, with the iconic hoiho making a splash! Hoiho are in decline and could be extinct on mainland New Zealand in 20 years. They really need our protection on land and at sea.” 
 
Bird of the Year is Forest & Bird's most popular annual event with over 40,000 people voting last year. 
 
Voting begins at 9am on Monday 2 November and closes at 5pm on Sunday 15 November, with the winner announced at 9am Monday 16 November. 
 
Learn more at www.birdoftheyear.org.nz and follow #birdoftheyear all over the internets. 

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