New Zealand falcon flies ahead
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 5:26a.m.
It's on the $20 bill and it's even money to earn the title of New Zealand's Bird of the Year.
Polling in Forest & Bird's annual Bird of the Year closes at 9am on Wednesday and the karearea, or New Zealand falcon, was comfortably ahead of the pack with more than 1200 of the nearly 10,000 votes cast by Tuesday evening.
Famous for fronting the $20 note, New Zealand's only bird of prey has a maximum speed of 230km/h and can catch their prey mid-flight.
Perhaps more importantly, its "campaign manager" is comedian Raybon Kan, who has drummed up more than the 937 votes for the second-placed kokako, which is backed by columnist and speech writer David Slack.
There is no hope for the Skua, backed by another comedian, Te Radar, which had 27 votes.
Forty-two birds, including previous winners the tui, fantail, kakapo and last year's champ, the pukeko, are vying for the award.
The poll, in its eighth year, aims to raise the profile of New Zealand's threatened and much loved bird species
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11/10/2012 8:10:40 a.m.
The greatest threat to our native birds is DoC and AHB via 1080 poison - 1080 is an insecticide, birds eat the poison directly (watch http://youtu.be/Smp2TdbOPaI) and insects that have died from consuming 1080. DoC and AHB kill thousands of native birds every year - criminal behaviour.
10/10/2012 4:31:21 p.m.
the problem for our falcon is that they are ground nesting, so easy targets for rats, stoats, cats and dogs. It is also targeted by humans who illegally shoot them to protect their chickens or pigeons. There are fewer falcons than there are kiwi but don't seem to attract the same conservation notice as other endangered birds. If you have domestic poultry that are free range, please ensure that they have shelter (trees, bushes) that they can hide from aerial predators. Don't shoot this amazing creature because you fail to provide your stock the necessary environment.
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