The Sovereign Adventure has been named Bird of the Year in 2021 and narrowly defeated the colored frog mouth in a nail-biting finish.
The winner of the Guardian Australia / Birdlife Australia poll was announced on Friday after more than 400,000 votes were cast during the 10-day competition.
The beloved little bird, showing signs of decline in its traditional urban habitat, won by 13,998 votes, right in front of the popular brown frogmouth at 13,332.
The gang-gang cockatoo, which had strong backing from Canberra residents and those concerned about its likely endangered status, placed third with 12,836 votes.
The Sovereign Adventures emerged as a clear favorite during the two weeks of voting and regularly topped the daily count.
The males are recognizable by their blue feathers, and the species has become famous for its polyamory and passion for sharing housework.
Males leave the territory during the day and perform courtship to other females, but it is the females who ultimately control the choice of mate as well as the nest.
Holly Parsons is BirdLife Australia’s city bird host and a fantastic adventure supporter.
“It’s really exciting to see a bird that so many people love and appreciate take the grand prize,” she said.
“The great thing is that it is a bird that people can help at home. You can plant shrubs for them and create a good habitat in your space to help these birds. ”
This year’s poll included a new voting system in which five birds were eliminated each day until there were 10 left.
The reason for the change was to allow people to be constantly involved in the competition and vote strategically every day to keep birds running.
The focus of this year’s poll was on the birds that people know in their daily lives. Before the vote was launched, BirdLife Australia’s Sean Dooley told Guardian Australia that 18 months of multiple lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic had led to an increase in interest in birds.
The second main feature of this year’s competition was recognizing what he called a “seismic shift” for many Australian birds as a result of the disaster of the 2019-20 forest fire, where opinion polls gave people a chance to show their support for the species they love.
He said the amazing adventure was a perennial favorite and a bird people could still see in their parks and gardens.
“It’s hard not to love an adventure,” Dooley said. “The concern for us is that they are becoming less common.
“We know they disappeared from the Sydney railways during the 1980s, and in the seven-year results of the Aussie Backyard Bird Count we have taken a worrying decline in reporting rates for most cities, particularly Melbourne and Hobart, where reported sightings fell by about half over that time. ”
Dooley said he had thought it might have been the year of the gang cockatoo after it emerged as a favorite in the early days of voting and because it was on the minds of many people as a species hard hit by forest fires.
He said it was also gratifying to see the regent-honey eater, a critically endangered species that finished sixth with 9,139 votes, receiving such strong support from voters.
While many of the top 10 were birds people know, honey eating for regents is more elusive.
“It was really gratifying to know that so many people are connected to what is an amazing but otherwise obscure bird that is in real trouble,” Dooley said.
“The great thing about this year’s bird is that it’s been a great way to celebrate the amazing diversity of Australia’s birds and keep a national conversation going for almost two weeks!
“In a year of generally gloomy news for birds, this competition has been a real boost to our mood.”