Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Bird of the Year becomes Bird of the Century

Top, left to right: Huia by Auckland Museum Ref LB 9129 (CC BY 4.0); North Island Piopio, Turnagra tanagra, collected 8 September 1900, Waitotara district, New Zealand. CC BY 4.0. Te Papa (OR.000212). Bottom, left to right: South Island snipe by Don Merton/Department of Conservation Ref 10040147; Laughing owl by Buthbert & Oliver Parr, 1909 at Raincliff Station, Opihi River, South Canterbury; Bush wren by Don Merton/Department of Conservation Ref 10037276. Photo: Creative Commons / Auckland Museum / Department of Conservation / Te Papa.

Bird of the Year becomes Bird of the Century to celebrate 100 years of Forest & Bird, Radio NZ, 29 July 2023

The Bird of the Year competition is set to heat up as Forest and Bird seeks to find the Bird of the Century to celebrate its 100th year.

There are 75 bird species up for the title this year, including five extinct but newly added ones – mātuhituhi (bush wren), tutukiwi (South Island snipe), huia, piopio, and whēkau (laughing owl).

Last year’s winner was the pīwauwau (rock wren).

Forest and Bird executive Nicola Toki said it was amazing to see how a simple poll, which started in a newsletter in 2005, had grown to become “national institution and beloved celebration of Aotearoa’s native birds”.

“We’ve had some crazy moments: voting scandals, a bat winning, a competition favourite booted for being too popular.

“We hope New Zealanders and people around the world will get involved in the fun of Bird of the Century 2023, discover the amazing stories behind our living and dearly departed feathered friends, and ultimately be inspired to speak up for them.”

Voting will open at 9am on 30 October, 2023 and run for two weeks, closing at 5pm on 12 November, 2023.

The winner will be announced the following morning on 13 November, 2023.

Applications for campaign managers to champion each of the 75 candidates are also open.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
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