Forest and Bird, a conservation organization in New Zealand, is gearing up for an exciting Bird of the Century competition to mark its 100th year. This year’s competition will feature 75 bird species, including five newly added extinct species such as the huia, piopio, and laughing owl.
The Bird of the Year competition started as a simple poll in a newsletter in 2005 but has now become a beloved celebration of New Zealand’s native birds. Last year’s winner was the pīwauwau (rock wren). The competition has seen its share of surprises, including voting scandals and unexpected winners like a bat.
Voting for the Bird of the Century 2023 will open on October 30, 2023, and run for two weeks, closing on November 12, 2023. The winner will be announced on November 13, 2023.
Forest and Bird hopes that the competition will inspire people to learn about and appreciate New Zealand’s unique bird species and to advocate for their conservation. Applications for campaign managers to support and champion each of the 75 bird candidates are also open.