We have a new voting system to decide which bird will reign supreme and be crowned Bird of the Year 2019.

This year, voting is based on the instant runoff voting system, which is similar to the system you might have seen in local elections.

When you vote, you can rank up to five of your favourite birds, with #1 indicating your favourite bird, #2 indicating your second favourite bird, and so on.

How the winner is decided

When voting closes on Sunday 10 November, votes will be tallied to see how many #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 votes each bird received.

To calculate which bird comes out on top, elimination rounds take place to remove the lowest ranked bird.

What happens in each round?

The round starts by eliminating the bird with the lowest number of #1 votes.

Anyone who voted for the eliminated bird then has the rest of their votes shuffled up to replace their eliminated vote. So if the bird they voted as #3 is eliminated, their #4 bird becomes their #3, and their #5 bird becomes their #4.

Once the votes have been shuffled up for everyone who voted for the eliminated bird and the vote totals recalculated, the next round begins.

The process is repeated until all but one bird has been eliminated - with this bird becoming the victorious Bird of the Year.

Voting FAQ

Why do I have five votes, and what happens if I don’t use all of them?

By ranking your top five birds, you can continue to influence the standings even if some of your birds don’t place highly.

If a bird you voted for is eliminated during the voting calculations, your next ranked bird is moved up a ranking. This process continues until all the birds you voted for have been eliminated.

The table below shows what happens to a person’s votes if their #1 bird is eliminated.

A person’s votes before Bird A is eliminated
#1 vote #2 vote #3 vote #4 vote #5 vote
Bird A Bird B Bird C Bird D Bird E
A person’s votes after Bird A is eliminated
#1 vote #2 vote #3 vote #4 vote #5 vote
Bird B Bird C Bird D Bird E -

What happens if there are multiple birds with the same total number of #1 votes?

If multiple birds have the same number of #1 votes, the one with the most #2 votes will be ranked highest, and the one with the least #2 votes ranked lowest. If the birds still can’t be separated, we’ll look at the number of #3, #4, then #5 votes.

But what if multiple birds have the same totals for their #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 votes?

If the tied birds are not at the top of the table, when it is their turn to be eliminated they will be eliminated at the same time.

If the tied birds are competing for first place, the winner will be decided by number of boundaries scored* (too soon, cricket fans?).

*Just joking, in the extremely unlikely event that there is a tie for first place, the title will be awarded to the bird that received a #1 vote first.