As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Magpie edges out white ibis and kookaburra as Australian bird of the year

Top three birds all backed by more than 10,000 votes in Guardian Australia and BirdLife Australia poll that attracted 150,000 votes

Sunday 10 December 2017 23.54 GMTLast modified on Monday 11 December 2017 06.09 GMT

The Australian magpie has been crowned Australian bird of the year for 2017, upsetting the early favourite, the white ibis, and winning 13.3% of the vote.

The magpie received 19,926 votes, followed by the Australian white ibis with 19,083 votes and the laughing kookaburra with 10,953 votes.

They were the only three species to win more than 10,000 votes, to the chagrin of fairywren supporters who feel the chubby little blue bird was robbed. The fairywren vote was split between the east and west coasts, with the east coast superb fairywren getting 6,366 votes and fifth place and Western Australia’s splendid fairywren coming 10th with 4,129 votes.

The superb fairywren won BirdLife Australia’s bird of the year poll in 2013.

It is the first year the BirdLife poll has been run in conjunction with Guardian Australia. Almost 150,000 votes were received before the polls closed on Saturday.

The result was the subject of some criticism, called either a boring choice or an unworthy one given the magpie’s propensity to swoop anyone who crosses their territory in spring.

BirdLife’s Sean Dooley, speaking on ABC News Breakfast, said despite their violent reputation magpies had cleverly befriended a number of humans, which may have swayed the vote.

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