Frequently Asked Questions

Every year, we get hundreds of emails from people all over the world wanting to learn more about Bird of the Year. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions.

Q: When is Bird of the Year in 2018?

Voting for this year's competition opens at 9 am on Monday 1 October and closes at 5 pm on Sunday 14 October. We'll announce the winning bird on RNZ's Morning Report at 8:50 am on Monday 15 October. 

Q: Why can't I see how many votes there are? 

This year we are hiding the number of votes that each bird has at the beginning and end of the competition. You will still be able to vote, but not see which bird is in the lead. We have done this to encourage people to vote with their hearts and not just follow the flock by voting for the bird with the most votes. 

Votes will be hidden until midday on Wednesday 3 October and then hidden again from midday on Friday 12 October. 

Q: Why do you run Bird of the Year?

We hope that Bird of the Year helps to raise awareness for our native birds, their habitats, and the threats they face. Tragically, a third are in danger of becoming extinct, so they need all the recognition they can get. 

Q: What more can I do to protect native birds?

There's so much you can do to protect New Zealand's native birds. You could make a donation to help us protect them, join Forest & Bird, get involved with one of our local branches as a volunteer, set up a trapping programme in your backyard - the list goes on...

Q: Why don't you have all 168 of New Zealand's bird species on the list?

We want to keep the website as user-friendly as possible. Scrolling through a list of 168 birds would be hard work and we don't want our voters to tire out at the birds starting with C! It also means those birds at the bottom of the list might miss out. If you want a bird added to the competition, just send us an email. Be warned, we will definitely expect you to then put your hand up as campaign manager for that bird!

Q: Can I campaign for a bird?

Absolutely! We encourage anyone who is passionate about their favourite native bird to campaign throughout the competition. You can find out whether your favourite bird already has a campaign manager on the website by clicking the "learn about me" link. Send us an email and we'll either put you in touch with your bird's campaign team or sign you up to lead the campaign if that bird is available. 

Q: Can I suggest birds to add to the competition?

Sure! If you want to see a bird added to the competition, just send us an email and be prepared for us to ask you to be the campaign manager for that bird!

Q: Can I vote more than once with the same email?

Unfortunately, you can only vote once per email. This is to make sure we don't encounter any ballot stuffing, though it hasn't stopped anyone from trying in 2015 and again in 2017. Be warned, we will find you, and we will be disappointed!