INDEPENDENT NEWS

The Tui is New Zealand’s Bird of the Year 2005

Published: Fri 21 Oct 2005 09:01 AM
The Tui is New Zealand’s Bird of the Year 2005
Forest and Bird today announced that the winner of its New Zealand Bird of the Year 2005 poll is the tui.
"Forest and Bird would like to thank everyone who voted in the inaugural Bird of the Year poll,” said Forest and Bird Conservation Manager, Kevin Hackwell. “The response has been very encouraging with 76 native bird species receiving nearly 900 votes between them.”
“The tui was the most popular choice attracting 20% of the votes cast,” he said. “A tui amongst kowhai is also the logo of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand.”
“The tui is one of New Zealand’s most iconic dawn chorus birds with a call that is known and loved across the land.”
“The response to the poll has been a reminder that New Zealand’s native birds are an intrinsic part of our national identity, and one that we should celebrate, cherish and protect.”
“Tui have a distinctive repertoire of calls combining bell-like notes with clicks, barks, cackles and wheezes, and can even mimic sounds such as the calls of the bellbird.”
“If you would like to encourage tui in your garden you can plant an attractive variety of native trees and shrubs to provide a year-round food supply, including kowhai, flax, puriri and rewarewa.”
Astonishingly, 73 of our native bird species are on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) “Red List” of species threatened with extinction. Amongst developed nations, only the USA has more bird species on the “Red List”. Among the top ten favourite birds, the stitchbird (hihi), kokako, kakapo and kea are all on the “Red List”.
Forest and Bird’s annual appeal was launched this week to help fund conservation work around the country aimed at restoring the dawn chorus. We would like to encourage people to donate to the appeal via our website at: www.forestandbird.org.nz
The top ten polling birds were:
1. Tui: 20%
2. Stitchbird or hihi: 14%
3. Fantail or piwakawaka: 9%
4. Kokako: 8%
5. Kea: 6%
6. Kereru: 6%
7. Kakapo: 6%
8. Grey warbler or riroriro: 3%
9. Pukeko: 3%
10. Bellbird or korimako: 3%
ends

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