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Britains National Bird

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Britains National Bird

Post  whitestarling on Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:51 am

Britain's National Bird Campaign shortlist announced

The Robin would seem to be the obvious choice for our National Bird, but is it?

After months of voting, the shortlist for Britain’s Vote National Bird Campaign has been announced.

The public now has until 7 May 2015 to choose which British bird will be crowned Britain’s National Bird and can vote at www.votenationalbird.com.

The Vote National Bird Campaign was launched by David Lindo, broadcaster, writer and one of the UK’s leading ornithologists – also known as The Urban Birder. David Lindo has a particular passion for promoting the appreciation and conservation of urban birds.

David discovered Britain is one of the few countries in the world not to have its own national bird - America has the Bald Eagle, Sweden the common Blackbird, Japan the Green Pheasant, France the Gallic Rooster and India has the peacock.

He explains,  “It is hard to believe as a nation of animal lovers, that Britain has not got a National Bird! I want to encourage the great British public to vote for the bird that best represents all that is great about this nation.”

The first round of voting for Britain’s Vote National Bird Campaign took place in the autumn of 2014, when over 70,000 people voted from a long list of 60 iconic British birds.  

One of the aims of David’s campaign is to get more children interested in and enthusiastic about British wildlife and to encourage greater awareness of British birds in schools.

To this end, the Vote National Bird Campaign will be launching a UK wide primary schools national drawing and poetry competition, open to all Primary and Secondary school children.  

School children can paint, draw or write a poem about one of the shortlisted birds. The winner will get a playground wildlife makeover for their school.

David explains, “I’m really keen to promote our wonderful British nature in schools and the Vote National Bird Campaign is a great way of doing it.

"It's all about education, education and a little more education. Getting kids to engage with nature through art and literature is a great way to start.'

On the announcement of the shortlist David says: “Along with the expected contenders - the friendly Robin, charismatic Puffin and elegant Swan - there is one major surprise: the Hen Harrier, one of England's rarest breeding birds.

"Down to just one breeding pair a couple of years ago, it may already be extinct. Could the majestic Hen Harrier knock the hot favourite Robin off its perch?”

The final round of voting for Britain’s National Bird Campaign opens on 16 March and will close on Election Day, 7 May.  Members of the public can vote at www.votenationalbird.com and by paper ballot at selected nature reserves across the UK.

The winning bird will be announced soon after.

THE SHORTLIST

David Lindo gives some information about the birds and speculates on which will win:

Mute Swan

The Mute Swan is one of the largest flying birds in the world weighing in at anything up to 20 pounds (9kg). Once considered to be the property of the Crown they are the epitome of beauty and grace. But can the swan carry the crown?

Red Kite

This glorious aerial master has won the hearts of the British public and they are an amazing conservation success. From a tiny dwindling population based in Wales, there are now in excess of 3000 Red Kites in Britain. Could this amazing raptor soar to the top of the pile?

Hen Harrier

With any election there is always a candidate that is billed as having an outside chance. This beautiful raptor is a hot political potato as it is the most persecuted in the UK. Shamefully, there is perhaps just one pair remaining in England. If Britain wants to back an underdog then the Hen Harrier is the one.

Puffin

This totally photogenic comedic looking seabird really deserves its northern Scottish alternative name of Sea Parrot. They are only in Britain during the summer before slipping off to spend the winter months in the middle of the ocean. If you want a character as our National Bird, look no further.

Barn Owl

There is nothing more haunting than to see the ghostly image of a Barn Owl in the countryside flying through the beam of a car headlights in the depth of night. Everybody loves an owl. But do you love the Barn Owl enough to make it our National Bird?

Kingfisher

Truly the dazzling jewel of the British bird scene, but surprisingly, they are not an everyday sight for most people. Despite their bright colours, Kingfishers can be easily overlooked as they spend a lot their time perched motionless by riverbanks. As our National Bird, you’ll be able to see one every day!

Wren

The Wren is a tiny bird with a mighty voice. After the Goldcrest and Firecrest it's the third smallest bird in Britain. Many people mistakenly believe that the Jenny Wren has always our National Bird. Now is your chance to make it a reality.

Robin

Perhaps Britain's most famous bird it needs little introduction. The good old Robin Redbreast is actually a member of the thrush family and rarely lives longer than a couple of years. It has already held the title of Britain’s Favourite Bird for nearly 50 years. Is this National Bird Vote just a formality?

Blackbird

The Blackbird is one of the most familiar birds in the land with a truly mellifluous song. Paul McCartney sang a mellifluous song about the Blackbird. Will this dark and handsome thrush be calling the tune when the votes are finally in?

Blue Tit

There can’t be a garden in the land that isn’t graced by Blue Tits, one Britain’s most beautiful birds. They are amongst the most familiar of our garden birds and are avid users of the feeders and nest boxes that we put out for them. Has the cheeky Blue Tit got what it takes to be our National Bird?

WS

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Re: Britains National Bird

Post  Laikipia on Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:05 pm

Thanks WS. Just spent a long time looking at those and voted cheers

Actually I like all the suggestions so it was difficult - what happened to Buzzard? They are amongst my favourites!

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Re: Britains National Bird

Post  whitestarling on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:29 pm

Cant make my mind up at the moment scratch I don't think the Buzzard got enough votes to get in the final.

WS

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Re: Britains National Bird

Post  Laikipia on Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:00 am

It took me ages WS Laughing I voted for Blackbird in the end.

I am sure I voted Buzzard earlier on scratch but as you say obviously not a popular choice!

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Re: Britains National Bird

Post  Doogs on Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:12 pm

Mmmm I tried to vote for the Red Kite but when I click on the 'vote' button nothing seems to happen, doesnt appear to have been accepted scratch
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