Vote Robin campaign takes flight
Source: Animal Health Board
Forest & Bird's Bird Of The Year competition kicked off today, and the AHB is backing the toutouwai/New Zealand robin.
Introducing the New Zealand robin
Who needs a red breast? Our native robins are packed with personality and always keen to keep you company!Robins are one of the friendliest birds in the forest. They make for cheery companions on a tramp through the bush, even if they're really only after the bugs you disturb as you walk. Don't be fooled by their cocked head and coy manner, they're worm killers extraordinaire.
Ten good reasons to Vote Robin
1) They're homegrown: Like most New Zealand birds, they're found nowhere else in the world
2) They're unique: Although they look superficially like the red-breasted European robins, they are completely unrelated
3) They're long-lived: Robins can live for up to 14 years (if they don't get gobbled by rats and stoats!)
4) They're petite: They weigh just 35g - that's less than a 9V battery
5) They're very organised: Robins make little food stores (called caches) throughout the forest
6) They're smart: Robins have the highest numerical competency of any recorded wild animal
7) They're industrious: During the winter, they will spend up to 90% of the day foraging or storing food
8) They're little go-getters: Robins are one of the first birds awake in the morning, and one of the last to go to sleep.
9) They're loyal: Robins are almost always monogamous, and are quick to defend their family from attack
10) They're friendly: Robins will happily hop up to your tramping boots - they think your laces are worms!
How the AHB is helping New Zealand robins
The AHB is currently funding a five-year study into the impact of aerial possum control for TB purposes on the health of a marked robin population in Dunedin's Silver Peaks. The study, which began in 2011, found that 68 per cent of robins in the area aerially treated with 1080 poison successfully fledged at least one chick in the first breeding season after the operation. By comparison, robin fledging success in the non-1080d control site was only eight per cent.
Watch a short video about this research project
How to vote
You can vote for the New Zealand robin here.
Follow our campaign
Search for the hashtags #BirdOfTheYear and #VoteNZrobin
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates
For further information, please contact:
Animal Health Board
Level 9 Guardian Trust House, 15 Willeston Street
PO Box 3412, Wellington 6140
DDI 04 474 7166
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