New Zealand's 'Bird of the Year' has been crowned

goss 11/11/2019

The yellow-eyed penguin, also known as the hoiho, has won 2019's Bird of the Year competition. 

The hoiho - the first ever seabird to win the title - beat the kākāpō, black robin, banded dotterel and piwakawaka, also known as the fantail. 

Forest & Bird spokesperson Megan Hubscher said the hoiho, which got 12,022 votes, and second-place kākāpō were neck-and-neck. 

"It was so close between these two amazing endangered birds, it was impossible to predict a winner for most of the competition."

Last year the kererū (wood pigeon) won by about 50,000 votes.

Top five:

  • Hoiho, yellow-eyed penguin
  • Kākāpō
  • Kakaruia, black robin
  • Ttūturiwhatu, banded dotterel
  • Pīwakawaka, fantail