With falsified votes, increased security and an argument in every comment section, it is safe to say that this year’s Bird of the Year competition has become more fight than flight.
Voters have taken to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to campaign passionately for their preferred birds. Friend has turned against friend, the discussion has gotten heated and feathers have definitely been ruffled.
The white-faced heron ended up red-faced when his support was seen spiking thanks to a random email address generator used by an IP address somewhere in the Christchurch area.
“We’re not angry. We’re just impressed they were able to do that and they care enough about a bird to do it,” says Kimberley Collins, the Bird of the Year co-ordinator.
With the fraudulent voting and people saying things like “if you love this country and the people in it”, it looks as if New Zealand is much more concerned with Bird of the Year than our actual election.
So far, the Kea looks to be the favourite, with 4892 votes.
Scroll down to see the most passionate pleas for votes from Twitter.
Alternatively, click here to vote for your favourite Bird of the Year, which should be the mighty (yet humble and polite) New Zealand Dotterel (Tuturiwhatu) which is obviously the best bird ever. Or you can vote for another bird, in which case that is fine and you are entitled to your wrong opinion.