The Guardian is running the Australian Bird of the Year poll for 2017 in partnership with BirdLife Australia. The finalists were narrowed down based on recommendations from Guardian readers, Guardian staff and BirdLife Australia. Now The Guardian is calling on the Australian public to select their favourite native bird from the short list.
The poll will stay open until 9 December, after which time the winning bird will be announced. If you feel the best Australian bird has been ignored, The Guardian have included an option for you to add it yourself.
I voted for the Grey Butcherbird.
There are so many wonderful birds on the list, but I have a soft spot for the somewhat drab, Grey Butcherbird. I vividly remember when I was a nine year old looking out my bedroom window and seeing a scene very similar to the one in the picture above. A curious looking bird sitting on the fence that I couldn’t work out what it was. Soon it was joined by a parent who kept returning to feed it. I was intrigued. I was hooked. I started to read about birds and look out for other birds, paying more attention to the ones that visited our garden or my school ground.
A few years later I met a wonderful lady who was prepared to let me tag along on some birding adventures. I saw a great deal more of WA over a couple of years and had many camps and surveys.
Some 34 years later I am still observing birds and teaching the Little Fellas all about them.
The Grey Butcherbird folks. Not to be underestimated.