The kereru or wood pigeon, which is thriving in Wellington with a stable population, has been declared 2018 Bird of the Year for the first time.
Photo by Craig McKenzie
Described as “in some trouble” on the Bird of the Year site, the kererū received 5833 votes in the public competition to fly to the front of of two birds “in serious trouble”: the kākāpō (3772 votes) and the even more threatened kakī (Black Stilt) which received 2995 votes for its remaining 123 adults.
Described on the Bird of the Year site as “clumsy, drunk, gluttonous and glamorous” the Kererū was supported by a team of campaign managers (as were all of the 43 birds in this year’s field). Team Kererū was comprised of designers Zoë Deans and Lucy Morris, photographers Tim Onnes and Mia Gorczynski, meme connoisseurs Finn Jackson and Richard Robertshaw, and Chlöe Swarbrick MP (described as Parliament’s top Kererū whisperer).
Over 48,000 votes were received for this year’s competition, the biggest ever, up from 41,000 in 2017.