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October 17, 2022
August 30, 2022
9:00 am
5:00 pm

Bird of the Year

Forest & Bird is pleased to announce the dates and theme for New Zealand’s most hotly anticipated avian election, Bird of the Year 2022.

Voting for Bird of the Year 2022 will open at 9.00am on Monday 17 October and closes at 5.00pm on Sunday 30 October, with the winner announced on the morning of Monday 31 October.

“Bird of the Year is a beloved fixture on the conservation calendar each year, and we’re stoked to bring Aotearoa yet another banger battle of the birds,” says Forest & Bird spokesperson Ellen Rykers. “We welcome anyone who’s interested in joining the fun to back their favourite bird as campaign manager.”

You can apply to be a Bird of the Year campaign manager here

This year, Forest & Bird is highlighting the underappreciated and overlooked birds through an ‘underbirds’ theme.  

“New Zealanders love getting behind an underdog – or in this case, underbird – and we want to channel that love to some of our feathered friends that may be overshadowed by their flashier, chonkier or louder cousins,” says Rykers.

“Of course, the election remains fundamentally democratic, but we encourage all voters to research candidates’ policies, and maybe discover a cool new species that speaks to them.”

Forest & Bird has developed a list of 21 underbirds to highlight some of these lesser-known candidates. The certified underbirds were identified using an algorithm that takes into account votes in previous competitions, media coverage, and conservation status.

“These birds are not just overlooked in Bird of the Year, they’re also underbirds in life, with many of them threatened with extinction,” says Rykers.  

You can read the full media release here.

The Register button below will take you to the Bird of the Year website, which will be updated closer to the event (it currently has information for 2021).