New Zealand’s annual bird of the year competition could usher in another round of controversy, with perennial favourite the kākāpō struck from the ballot after twice winning the competition.
Wait, what? I know New Zealand is fast becoming the most picturesque open air insane asylum, thanks to its bonkers premier, but c'mon!
This year, however, it will be conspicuously absent, amid concerns that its continued dominance could divert the spotlight from less charismatic candidates.
It's so popular, they want to ensure it doesn't win again.
“No, not banned from entry. It’s a hiatus. It’s definitely not a lifetime ban,” Forest & Bird spokesperson Ellen Rykers said.
“You know, if the same bird keeps winning every year, that might make it not so interesting.”
Rykers said in an earlier statement that “Of course, the election remains fundamentally democratic”, adding that the competition was hoping “to channel … love to some of our feathered friends that may be overshadowed by their flashier, chonkier or louder cousins”.
I really think you need to look up the word 'democratic'. I don't think it means what you think it means...
Organisers are attempting to boost the profile of less glamorous birds – dubbed “underbirds” – that usually get negligible votes. Candidates in this category, including the grey duck and shore plover will be highlighted on the online ballot, in an attempt to spark underdog sympathies among voters.
Who knew the modern mantra of 'prizes for all!' now extended to our feathered friends?