12 November 2019 - New Zealand elects rare anti-social penguin as bird of the year
Hoiho, the yellow-eyed penguin, wins bird of the year
The Hoiho, the yellow-eyed penguin, has won the hotly contested Bird of the Year competition.
It is the first time a seabird has won since Forest & Bird launched the competition 14 years ago.
The hoiho took 12,022 out of the 43,460 votes made and verified.
Bird of the Year competition: Keeping the good vibe flying high
Nik Dirga (RNZ, 11/11/2019)
The tweeting is over, the hashtags are going back to their nest, and New Zealand's wonderfully eccentric frenzy over the Bird of the Year vote is done for another year.
But while the online survey by Forest & Bird fires up thousands of avian aficionados for a few weeks, there's no reason bird lovers can't spread their wings all year long.
Bird of the Year is one of those charming things Aotearoa gets all worked up about that may seem a bit quaint to the rest of the world.
Bird of the Year: Speculation over Russian votes takes flight online
Jordan Bond (New Zealand Herald, 13/11/2019)
Forest and Bird says there is nothing to suggest a Russian hacking scandal has hit its Bird of the Year competition, despite hundreds of votes coming from the Federation.
Votes from Russia were the fourth most of any overseas country with 335, after Australia (684), the UK (682) and the US (563).
"There's certainly been a bit of speculation online about whether or not that's suspicious," Forest and Bird spokesperson Megan Hubscher said.
New Zealand's bird of the year: the most important election – aside from the real one
Elle Hunt (The Guardian, 05/11/2019)
The data team picked up on them first – 310 “dubious” votes from an IP address in Australia, sending one trend line suddenly, suspiciously skyward above the others. Something funny was going on with the shag.
Of course, by then – the 13th year of the competition – organisers knew to expect dodgy dealings in New Zealand’s bird of the year poll.
If a nationwide vote to name a favourite native bird sounds like innocuous good fun – a creative means of celebrating unique, threatened fauna – you may be underestimating bird of the year. Coordinated by the Royal Forest & Bird Society, an environmental nongovernmental organisation, it is often described as the country’s most important election – second only to, you know, the actual elections. Since 2017, too, it has had the same validation as two other Kiwi creations, pavlova and Russell Crowe: Australia has tried to pass it off as its own.