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NZ crowns the perfect 'underbird' as 2022's Bird of the Year winner
In Aotearoa
In Aotearoa

NZ crowns the perfect 'underbird' as 2022's Bird of the Year winner

"A vote for Pīwauwau is a vote for climate action.”

The Pīwauwau Rock Wren has officially been named NZ’s Bird of the Year for 2022.

After two weeks of voting and several innovative campaigns, Forest & Bird claims that the Pīwauwau’s win clearly shows just how much we Kiwis love an “underbird”. 

Chief executive Nicola Toki said that the lesser-known birds entered the spotlight and the Pīwauwau's win just goes to show how “awesome” the Rock Wren is.

"A vote for Pīwauwau is a vote for climate action.”

“As Aotearoa's only true alpine bird, these tiny wrens are already feeling the impacts of warmer temperatures, which allow predators like rats and stoats to climb higher and invade their mountaintop homes," Toki added.

SOURCE: Craig McKenzie

The Pīwauwau is distinguished by having a short tail, long legs, feet that resemble snowshoes, and a weight similar to a mallow puff biscuit.

The Pīwauwau live in the Southern Alps above the shrub line and hop and bobble between rocks as opposed to flying.

The tiny, olive-coloured bird, which is considered to be nationally endangered, is in danger from nest-robbing predators including stoats, mice, and rats.

The Pīwauwau campaign was led by Stephen Day, Lauren Schaer, and those at Herenga ā Nuku

Day expressed his excitement for the win saying the Rock Wren is "finally getting their day in the spotlight."

Congratulations to the top 10 Birds of 2022!

#1 Pīwauwau - Rock Wren

#2 Kororā - Little Penguin

#3 Kea

#4 Karure/ Kakaruia Chatham Island Black Robin

#5 Tawaki Piki Toka - Rockhopper Penguin 

#6 Pīwakawaka - Fantail

#7 Hihi - Stitchbird

#8 Kārearea - New Zealand Falcon

#9 Pūteketeke - Australasian Crested Grebe

#10 Titipounamu - Rifleman 

It’s awesome to see the support behind our native birds here in Aotearoa and all the effort that goes into campaigning for the underdogs or should we say - underbirds.