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Bird of the year competition on again

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/10/2016

Forest & Bird's annual Bird of the Year competition is under way.

Celebrities acting as "campaign managers" for their favourite birds will be trying to get people to vote for them in the annual online poll.

The competition attracts more than 20,000 votes each year and people come up with innovative ways to promote their bird.

People make videos, run serious online campaigns, design posters, read poetry in the street and one campaign manager got a tattoo of their bird.

"Last year we had a voting scandal that really rocked the competition. Two teenagers used fake email addresses to vote over 200 times for the kokako, briefly getting it to first place," says Forest & Bird's Kimberley Collins.

Last year's Bird of the Year was the bar-tailed godwit, which swooped into the lead with 1957 votes.

Voting begins at 9am on Monday and closes at 5pm on October 30. The winner will be announced on October 31.

Now in its 12th year, the competition raises awareness for New Zealand's much-loved native birds and the threats they face.

Previous Bird of the Year Winners

2015: Bar Tailed Godwit (Kuaka)

2014: Fairy Tern (Tara Iti)

2013: Yellowhead (Mohua)

2012: New Zealand Falcon (Karearea)

2011: Pukeko

2010: Kakariki

2009: Kiwi

2008: Kakapo

2007: Grey Warbler (Riroriro)

2006: Fantail (Piwakawaka)

2005: Tui.

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