The world’s heaviest, longest-living and only flightless parrot has added another feather to its cap after being crowned New Zealand’s bird of the year for an unprecedented second time.
The engendered large parrot, Kākāpō, first earned the coveted title in 2008 and came back to limelight after a scandalous election: voter fraud, delay and even an alliance.
Also known as the ‘mighty moss chicken’, the Kākāpō took the lead through the competition’s preferential system. The antipodean albatross, another endangered bird, had, however, topped the leader board with the most number of votes during the two-week voting period.
At least 1,500 votes were found by the volunteer scrutineers from the same IP address for the smallest kiwi species, the kiwi pukupuku or little spotted kiwi.
This year, the polling was delayed to avoid clashing with the New Zealand’s parliamentary election.
Laura Keown, the spokesperson for the Bird of the Year, said it was the first time any bird has been crowned twice in the competition.
The largest parrots are prone to threat because of their unique features: slow breeders, ground-nesting to imitate shrubs and smell. The birds smell “like the inside of a clarinet case, musty and kind of like resin and wood,” said Ms Keown.
The endangered bird’s population rose from 50 during the 1990s to 213 now after the efforts by conservationists.
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