In what some might call a controversial win, the champion of the Bird of the Year 2021 campaign is none other than the long-tailed bat/pekapeka-tou-roa.
The long-tailed bat ruffled a few feathers a couple of weeks back when it was annonced as a potential candidate for the prestigious title. While many thought it was unacceptable that a mammal could be up against NZ native bird life for a title made for birds, it seems Kiwi's have rallied behind the being and voted for it for Bird of the Year.
Long-tailed bats live throughout New Zealand, and fly at dusk along forest edges using echolocation calls to hunt moths, mosquitoes, and other yummy insects. They are as small as your thumb, the wingspan of your hand, and weigh the same as a $2 coin. They are in serious trouble from habitat loss and introduced predators.
The top ten finishers and #1 ranked votes:
1. Long-tailed bat/pekapeka-tou-roa (7031)
2. Kākāpō (4072)
3. Rifleman/titipounamu (2808)
4. Kea (2801)
5. Antipodean albatross/toroa (2790)
6. Black robin/kakaruia (2413)
7. TIE - Little penguin/kororā (1762) and Morepork/ruru (1762)
9. Blue duck/whio (1648)
10 Rockhopper penguin (1603)
Congratulations to the long-tailed bat!