New Zealand bird of the year:


NZ’s fastest bird – the Karearea – has been crowned Bird of the Year.

As well as being a top predator that can reach speeds of up to 230km/hr and catch prey mid-flight, it’s a hopeless romantic. During courtship, couples will perform an aerial ballet, swapping food mid-flight, performing mock attack dives or spiralling gracefully landward. It’s a bird most worthy of the title‘Bird of the Year’.

Despite its aerial prowess, it nests on rocky ledges or on the ground making its chicks particularly vulnerable to predation by cats, stoats, weasels and possums. Each year, our volunteers put in thousands of pest-busting hours to keep threatened birds such as the NZ falcon safe.

This year, the competition was particularly fierce and we were astounded by the dedication of our endlessly creative and passionate birdy campaigners. Congratulations – Jackson James Wood, Rachel Anderson-Smith, David Slack, Raybon Kan and The Co-operative Bank. Good luck next year!

October 2012
bannerNZ Falcon, or karearea. Photo: Craig McKenzie 

Karearea snatches Bird of the Year title

NZ’s fastest native bird – the karearea – has been crowned Bird of the Year in our 8th annual popularity poll. Several threatened, endemic birds filled the top 5 spots, such as the kokako (2nd), kaka (4th) and the kakapo (5th). In this year’s hotly contested poll, campaign managers fought hard to raise the profile of their bird – performing stunts including colouring competitions and sonnet performances.  One even got a tattoo of his bird on his bicep! Thank you to everyone who donated to Forest & Bird when they voted.

Copied from Forest and bird News Letter


Something about birds of New Zealand

Pūkeko is the common name, derived from the Māori language, for the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) of New Zealand. The subspecies occurring there is Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus, which is also found elsewhere in Australasia, including, in eastern Indonesia, the MollucasAru and Kai Islands, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Forest & Bird E-Alert

Helping you take action for your environment

The Bird of the Year poll has now opened so please cast your vote for your favourite native bird.

Previous winners include the tui (2005), fantail (2006), grey warbler (2007), kakapo (2008), kiwi (2009), kakariki (2010) and pukeko (2011).

Polling for Bird of the Year – – closes on October 10 at 9am.

Forest and Bird.