Nominees

Albatross

543 out of 12892 votes

Handsome ocean wanderer with wonderfully comic pink feet. Fourteen varieties breed in New Zealand making it the "Albatross Capital of the World".

Over the month Radio NZ broadcaster, Alison Ballance and F & B staffer, Mandy Herrick will list 30 reasons why you should Vote Albatross in 2013. Still need convincing? Read this blog or watch this stunning video.

Photo: Lyndon Perriman

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Bar tailed godwit

74 out of 12892 votes

Lunatic long-distance flier. Loves: Alaskan & NZ summers, arctic tundra, sea worms and swamp weed. Hates: vanishing Chinese wetlands

Campaign Manager: Labour's Conservation Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson

Photo: Jordan Kappely

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Barn Owl

113 out of 12892 votes

A newcomer to our flock of native birds. This storm-tossed Australian arrival is now doing a fine job of rodent control in Kaitaia.

Wingspan Trust has erected several nest-boxes for them as a welcome present!

Campaign Manager: Freerange Press

Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons

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Bellbird/korimako

338 out of 12892 votes

The bellbird is a musical wonder. It produces the sound of a thousand tiny whistles and flutes. The tui's song improves in its company.

Campaign Manager: United Future Leader, Peter Dunne.

Photo: Bellbird chick, David Brooks.

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Bittern

72 out of 12892 votes

Can Te Radar save this shy, secretive bog-dwelling bird from living in obscurity?

Photo: Peter Langlands.

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Blue duck/whio

219 out of 12892 votes

After just two days, whio ducklings make a dash for independence making them perfect captive breeders.

Auckland Zoo, Peacock Springs, Orana Wildlife Park and Staglands are just some of the organisations that have been replenishing upland streams with whio.

Campaign Manager: Genesis Energy and Forest & Bird's Marketing Manager, Phil Bilbrough

Photo: Jordan Kappely.

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Chatham Island Black Robin

184 out of 12892 votes

This bird once eyeballed extinction, however it has since made an almighty comeback. Once it had five birds to its name, now it numbers 250 birds.

Campaign Manager, Labour's Environment Spokesperson Moana Mackey.

Photo: Don Merton

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Fairy tern

380 out of 12892 votes

Help! This bird only has 43 birds to its name. It’s an easily frightened beach-goer whose nesting sites are often trampled by wheel, foot or paw.

Campaign Manager: Broadcaster Hayley Holt

Photo: Brian Chudleigh

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Fantail/piwakawaka

308 out of 12892 votes

This flycatcher is a fastidious nest builder – scrutinising cobwebs, mossy greens and skeletons of leaves before constructing its snug, fern-lined home.

Campaign Manager: Wrights Wine

Photo: Black Stallion Photography

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Fernbird/Kotata

41 out of 12892 votes

An endemic songster of our swamps and saltmarshes.

Photo: Craig Mckenzie

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Gannet/ Takapu

71 out of 12892 votes

These dive-bombing daredevils are equipped with bubble-wrapping on their chest and face, no external nostrils and transformer eyes that change shape to help them see underwater. Amaze-balls.

Campaign Manager: IdealCup

Photo: Jordan Kappelly

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Grey warbler/riroriro

161 out of 12892 votes

A surprise winner in 2007, this bumblebee-sized bird has a song that belies its size.

Photo: Craig McKenzie

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Hihi

92 out of 12892 votes

This rare little bird has a most colourful love life. They’re the only bird known to mate face to face.

Photo: Steve Attwood

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Hutton's Shearwater

50 out of 12892 votes

This endangered seabird nests in the snowy mountains of Kaikoura to escape its predators. Now it has a special sanctuary to help boost its numbers!

Photo: Dave Hallett, The Press.

Campaign Manager: Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust

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Kahu

112 out of 12892 votes

The kahu's loping flying style and dashing courtship displays make it the gent of our skies.

Campaign Manager: Kiwi Karma

Photo: Jordan Kappely

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Kaka

320 out of 12892 votes

In towns around NZ this gregarious parrot is making a comeback. It is a raucous attention seeker and might even make home visits to secure a win

In this snazzy video, Campaign Manager, Rachel Anderson-Smith quizzes NZders on why they're voting kaka.

Photo: Janice McKenna

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Kakapo

396 out of 12892 votes

Our most exquisitely perfumed bird. It’s like its feathers have been dipped in a musky array of essential oils that could come straight from a Middle Eastern perfumier. We’re all cheering as it waddles back from the brink of extinction

Campaign Manager: The Seven Sharp Team

Photo: Don Merton

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Kakariki

93 out of 12892 votes

Our birdy dress code is decidedly drab, so it's wonderful to see this lurid, splashy dresser adorning our branches. They come fitted with red, yellow and orange (critically endangered) crowns.

Campaign Manager & Green MP Eugenie Sage has written a blog and produced a dramatic video to get punters to cast their vote for kakariki.

Photo: Don Merton

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Kaki

42 out of 12892 votes

In 1981, team kaki had just 23 members to its name, however this Mackenzie country bird has received a boost in numbers (100 per year) thanks to DOC's captive breeding scheme.

Photo: Craig McKenzie

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Karearea/NZ Falcon

177 out of 12892 votes

Last year, comedian Raybon Kan campaigned fiercely for the karearea with the smashing tagline “NZ’s got talons” and won by a landslide.

Famous for fronting the $20 note, karearea can clock 230km/hr and can catch prey mid-flight. Is this aerial acrobat going to smash the competition this year?

Photo: Craig McKenzie

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Kea

622 out of 12892 votes

A bogan of a bird. Unsurprisingly, its reputation for small-time thievery, dismantling cars and mob-tactics has earnt it few votes over the years.

Campaign Manager: West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor

Photo: Andrew Walmsley

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Kereru

306 out of 12892 votes

Clumsy, drunk, gluttonous and glamorous, the kereru exudes a charming ennui, that's a nice counterpoint to the industrious verve commonly observed in the bird-world.

Campaign Manager: Lead singer of the Black Seeds, Barnaby Weir

Photo: Craig McKenzie

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Kermadec Storm Petrel

139 out of 12892 votes

Yet another avian endemic that's a real enigma. This sparrow sized bird burst back onto the scene in 1988 when ornithologist Alan Tennyson noticed something flitting around the tilly lantern inside his tent on Macaulay island.

Campaign Manager: The Pew Charitable Trusts . To follow the campaign, become a facebook friend.

Photo: Gareth Rapley

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Kingfisher/kotare

91 out of 12892 votes

The kingfisher's smart iridescent blue coat and habit of surveying the land from lofty vantage points gives this bird a distinctly aristocratic air.

Photo: Nga Manu

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Kiwi

103 out of 12892 votes

You’ve got a love a bird that landed in NZ, and loved it so much it gave up its ability to fly. Now that’s patriotism. We have five species living in New Zealand.

Photo: DOC, Helen Mitchell.

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Kokako

332 out of 12892 votes

Our blue wattled crow is making such as strong comeback thanks to restoration efforts it's making garden visits. Indeed, one named Duncan (pictured) recently showed up in the Auckland suburb of Glendowie to help garner support his feathered tribe.

A strong contender for 2013.

Photo: David Bryden

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Little Blue Penguin

170 out of 12892 votes

Every morning these workmanlike penguins march towards the sea - sometimes negotiating traffic & bitey dogs - and return at dusk after a hard day's fishing. We're helping to boost the population living around Wellington's coastline.

Campaign Manager: Planet Goodness.

Photo: Craig McKenzie

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Mohua

2464 out of 12892 votes

A splashy bright yellow bush canary that lives in the area of the proposed Fiordland monorail. Mohua vs monorail?

Campaign Manager & Green Party Co-Leader, Metiria Turei

Photo: DOC, Ian Southy

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New Zealand Robin/toutouwai

122 out of 12892 votes

Our most wakeful bird and perhaps our most mathematically gifted. Scientists have recently discovered this bird can count.

Campaign Manager: Singer Kirsten Morrell

Photo: Herb Christopher, DOC

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NZ Dotterel/tuturiwhatu

54 out of 12892 votes

You may think that this tribe of birds has been at war given their disfigured state - but on closer inspection you'll realise their broken wing display is a mere ruse to keep predators at bay. Crafty and cerebral to boot!

Campaign Manager: Sustainable Coastlines

Photo: Jordan Kappely

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NZ Shore Plover

24 out of 12892 votes

This coastal bird was run off the mainland thanks to rats & cats in the late 1800s and was holed-up on the Chatham islands for around a century. DOC has recently started a mainland breeding programme, so now these birds can be seen in various offshore sanctuaries, such as Mana & Motutapu islands.

Photo: Sharon Gamble.

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NZ Storm Petrel

37 out of 12892 votes

This ‘jesus bird’ can be seen around the Hauraki gulf dancing or pogoing on the water’s surface. Its dainty-dance has enamoured sea-faring folk, however unsurprisingly it’s failed to win the affections of landlubbers.

Photo: Neil Fitzgerald

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Pukeko

80 out of 12892 votes

Common-as-muck and ever popular – year on year, this purple-suited polygamist polls in the top twenty much to derision of the purist camp. Winner in 2011. Can it snatch the crown again and finally claim its title as our honorary national bird?

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Rifleman

108 out of 12892 votes

Standing at just 8cm in height and weighing the equivalent of a 10 cent coin, the rifleman is our smallest contender. This insectivore's wing-beat is so frenetic it creates a whirring sound similar to the hummingbird.

Photo: Jordan Kappely.

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Rock wren

63 out of 12892 votes

A cute bobular bird can be seen adorning alpine rocks.

Photo: Kerry Weston

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Royal Spoonbill

67 out of 12892 votes

These elegant, long-legged waders once provided over-sized spoons for Aborigines. Since establishing themselves here in the 1930s they've caught the attention of cutlery enthusiasts, birders and the like.

Campaign Manager: Health Pak.

Photo: Craig Mckenzie

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Ruru/morepork

1709 out of 12892 votes

Our most talented night musician has a bad attitude to rodents and wings that are specially feathered, so it's silent in flight. A bird most worthy of Bird of the Year.

Campaign Manager: Tainui School

Photo: Chris Turner

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Saddleback/tieke

82 out of 12892 votes

The tieke is always on a war-footing and sees off its enemies with shrieking cries, dramatic displays and wattle-grabbing, so it’s well placed to enter the blood-battle that is Bird of the Year. Lets just hope there’s no internal fighting.

Campaign Manager: Jackson James Wood

Photo: Jordan Kappelly

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Shag

28 out of 12892 votes

Hanging its wings out to dry, the shag appears to be looking for applause. Its underwater fishing skills are worth a clap. It's thought that perhaps their penchant for gobbling down stones helps them to reach great depths?

Photo: Black Stallion Photography

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Shining Cuckoo

62 out of 12892 votes

This bird is one crafty number! It will lay its egg in a gray warbler's nest, and soon after it has hatched the cuckoo chick will evict all of the others in the nest. Charming! Surprisingly, the gray warbler parents raise these super-sized chicks without a tweet of complaint.

Campaign Manager: Broadcaster Wallace Chapman.

Photo: T Bond.

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Skua

22 out of 12892 votes

This piratical bird targets birds and chases them into a vomitous state. Unsurprisingly, its cantankerous, noisy manner and fondness for ready-made pre-warmed meals translates badly in the polls.

Photo: DOC

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Sooty Shearwater/titi

24 out of 12892 votes

Sooty shearwaters (or muttonbirds) are part of a larger group of seabirds that almost shear the water in flight. In March they wing it as far north as the Gulf of Alaska before returning to NZ in September.

Photo: Dan Irizarry.

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Southern Rockhopper Penguin

1524 out of 12892 votes

Who says you need arms to climb almighty rock stacks? The Southern Rockhopper tackles rock mountains with the determination and grit of Hillary.

Its population has declined by 30% in the past 30 years so it needs your support for survival!

Campaign Manager: Playcentre New Zealand

Photo: Don Merton.

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Taiko (Black petrel)

115 out of 12892 votes

It looks like a punched-up boxer and waddles like one too. This bird has a grim population outlook because of fishing threats, such as longlining. We're working hard to save them.

Campaign Manager: Labour MP Jacinda Ardern

Photo: Terry Greene

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Takahe

168 out of 12892 votes

Team takahe is down to fewer than 300 birds. It’s a little cerebrally challenged, so this year it’s campaigning on its stunning good looks. Its pre-historic chunkiness, dashing sea-green coat, fire-engine red legs must be a vote winner.

Campaign Manager: Not Sir Graham Henry

Photo: David Brooks.

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Tomtit

113 out of 12892 votes

Big-headed bird with the chutzpah needed to romp to victory!

Photo: Don Merton

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Tui

242 out of 12892 votes

A remarkable musical scrapbooker with a ferocious temper.

Photo: Adam Colley.

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Weka

74 out of 12892 votes

Weta Workshop team have backed this mischievous, brown hen, so we’re expecting it to make a flying finish.

Photo: Sabine Bernert

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White Faced Heron

25 out of 12892 votes

An elegant spear-fisher with an unfussy habitat range - it can be found in wetlands, mangroves, pasture and even sports fields & urban parks.

Photo: Jordan Kappelly

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Wrybill

42 out of 12892 votes

A late starter in the competition, the wrybill wades in with personality and pizzazz. It is the only bird in the world with a beak that is bent sideways – and always to the right!

Campaign Manager: Sarah Mankelow, Interpretation Network NZ

Photo: Glenda Rees

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Yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho

94 out of 12892 votes

Also known as the hoiho, or noise shouter in Māori, the yellow-eyed penguin is one of the world’s rarest penguin species with a population of just 6000-7000 birds.

Campaign manager: The Co-operative Bank.

Photo: Craig McKenzie

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