Farmers identify with endangered duck in Bird of the Year, encourage votes

A bird that features on our $10 note yet is struggling for survival has won support from farmers in this year's Bird of the Year competition.

The annual Forest & Bird promotion aims to raise awareness for native birds, their habitats and threats they face.

Federated Farmers is pushing for the whio (blue duck) to take the coveted title. Environment spokesperson Chris Allen said it was a bird farmers could relate to.

Federated Farmers has thrown its support behind the whio or blue duck.
Federated Farmers has thrown its support behind the whio or blue duck. Photo credit: Supplied

"It's a tough little guy, and there aren't too many of them - like farmers," he said.

"It's paddling away, head down, bum up, getting its work done the best it can.

"And the whio loves a good, clean river and a nice clear sky, just like farmers do."

There are fewer than 3000 whio left, with stoats and declining habitats major threats to the duck.

Voting for the Bird of the Year closes at 5pm on Sunday, and the winner will be announced on Monday.

The kererū took out the Bird of the Year title in 2018.

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