Kea swoops to Bird of the Year victory

  • 24/10/2017
The kea proved to be a popular choice this year.
The kea proved to be a popular choice this year. Photo credit: Getty

The kea has taken out the top perch in Forest and Bird's Bird of the Year competition, winning the crown by a landslide of votes.

The kereru flew in at second place and the kakapo, as the world's only flightless parrot, waddled in at third ahead of the hihi, which for a time looked set for a podium finish.

Forest and Bird's annual competition attracted over 50,000 votes this year - a huge improvement on the 20,000 votes filed last year, when the kokako ruled the roost, and the previous highest tally of 30,000.

It raised more than $10,000 in donations to help the organisation protect and restore our wildlife.

A fortnight ago, the competition became embroiled in controversy when one Christchurch citizen attempted to manipulate it in favour of the white-faced heron, casting 100 fraudulent votes in the dead of the night.

Bird of the Year co-ordinator Kimberley Collins at the time said they weren't mad at the interference, "just impressed that someone cares enough about New Zealand's native birds to rig the competition".

Additional security precautions were taken in response to the hack.