The endangered Kokako has been chosen New Zealand’s “Bird of the Year” for 2016!


This year 20,000 people voted in the contest. The winning kokako captured 3,614 votes.

The cheeky kea came in second with 2,608 votes, followed by the pretty little fantail with 1,508 votes. (The fantail was voted “Bird of the Year” in 2006)


This year, 54 birds were nominated for the unique competition. The kokako bid was driven by Oscar Thomas who became interested in this slate grey native bird when he was 10. A school tour to see the kokako proved a disappointment for Oscar because he wasn’t able to set his eyes on one. Shortly after the fruitless school trip, he returned to the island in Auckland Harbour determined to see the bird. Once he heard its haunting sound and gazed at its ghostly appearance, he was smitten. Now 16, and the island’s youngest natural history guide, Oscar is delighted his bird won the title.”It has the most beautiful call of all New Zealand’s birds and it’s the loudest in the forest. It sings with a deep five note call that makes the tui sound like an elaborate train wreck.” Oscar expansively declared. read more