Bird of the year 2021: tense wait as Australia prepares to learn winner of #BirdOfTheYear poll – live
But while some mourn, others organise. Will 2023 finally be the Tawny frogmouth’s year?
Sorry for that small pause, I’ve been doing cartwheels around my living room.
It is time for our four runners-up!
5th place is the Australian brush turkey (bush turkey) with 9790 votes.
4th is our neighbourhood friend the Galah with 10,570 votes.
In 3rd, after a tremendous showing this year, is the Gang-gang cockatoo with 12,836 votes!
And our second place-getter, edged out by a feather, is the Tawny frogmouth with 13,332 votes.
Of course, every bird is a winner in our eyes and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
And here we go. The winner of Guardian Australia’s 2021 Bird of the Year poll, with a whopping 13,998 votes. Small in stature, massive in popularity and lover of shared childcare and communal living … watch the video to find out!
Now we are getting very close to the big announcement. Here is how it will work. The winner’s name is in an envelope in a top secret location. Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor will reveal the number one in a video recording.
I have asked if she has an individual of each of the remaining species in her office to inform them of the results personally but am told they will be sent a text. Brutal.
And in 6th place, after one of the strongest campaigns from the scientific community and my colleague Graham Readfearn, it is the regent honeyeater with 9139 votes!
This special bird needs all of your support to continue.
In 7th is our most colourful contender, maybe even the most colourful of all Australian birds. Please raise a glass to the Gouldian finch with 8445 votes!
Our 8th place-getter has some of the most passionate supporters around. With 8152 votes, it’s the Laughing kookaburra!
In 9th place, we have the hero of the Australian backyard and friend of cyclists everywhere, the Australian magpie with 8046 votes.
Drumroll. The time has come to announce our first batch of results.
We had a HUGE voter turnout on our final day. 100,646 votes cast. Thank you everyone.
I can reveal that in 10th place we have the Peregrine falcon with 6338 votes. Give it up for this wonderful bird.
Watch Guardian Australia’s press gallery photographer Mike Bowers swap one Canberra swamp for another as he heads to the Jerrabomberra wetlands for some birdwatching tips with local ‘Birdian’, Geoffrey Dabb.
Some more on the pressures our birds are facing. The gang-gang cockatoo, which has been one of our leaders in the daily count, is being considered for a national endangered listing for the first time as a result of climate change and the 2019-20 bushfires.
My beloved superb fairywren is also showing signs of decline due to competition from larger urban birds, habitat pressures from property development and the changing Australian backyard.
I’ve covered this, and other birds, in a handy feature here with some tips on things you can do to help.
Now as an environment reporter I would not be doing my job if I didn’t tell you about some of the very serious issues our wonderful and unique birds are facing.
That’s right, Bird of the Year is all fun and games until someone reminds you about habitat destruction and the climate crisis.
We’ve got a couple of species in our top 10 that are really getting close to the brink.
Let’s start with this piece by my colleague Graham Readfearn about the regent honeyeater, whose populations have dropped to such low numbers they are forgetting their own songs.
As it turns out, voting for most popular bird is not a recent idea.
In 1908, Victoria’s Argus newspaper ran their own poll to discover the “Twelve Best Birds” in the state.
However the motivations were somewhat different to our peaceful offering here at Guardian Australia and focused on the “usefulness of birds to farmers and agriculturalists”.
You can read more about it here at BirdLife Australia.
We’ve seen some spirited advocacy for all of our birds this year but my colleague Matilda Boseley has to take the prize for the most steadfast commitment to her number one. The pelican is lucky to have you.
Let’s quickly run through our top 10 who have been waiting anxiously since our poll closed at midnight.
In addition to the gang-gang and regent honeyeater, we’ve got the galah, the Gouldian finch and the Australian magpie – a fierce competitor and past winner as Bird of the Year followers would know.
The brush turkey, a sentimental favourite regularly seen roaming the streets near my house, is also in the running, along with the kookaburra and elite athlete the peregrine falcon.
Finally we have the tawny frogmouth, which has been battling it out in the top three all week alongside the best bird of all (yes this is not an impartial blog) the superb fairywren.
We wish them all the best.
Good Morning Everyone! Welcome to Guardian Australia’s live blog of our 2021 Bird of the Year result.
Two weeks and it has come down to this. Ten birds, one winner, nine left to focus on their social media careers.
Who will claim victory?
Will it be the flame-feathered gang-gang, a beloved cockatoo species, especially among our Canberra voters?
Or maybe the critically-endangered regent honeyeater, which has had a surge in votes after it nearly bowed out earlier in the competition.
Here is how things will work today. At 11.30, we will reveal the bottom five in our final vote count.
We announce the winner at noon and the remaining runners-up.
Thank you for joining us for the countdown and for all of your enthusiasm for Bird of the Year.
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