‘Fowl play’: Fat parrot wins disputed ‘Bird of the Year’ competition – New York Post

This macawbre election flew in the face of democracy with its fowl play.

New Zealand’s Bird of the Year competition is always a bizarrely fierce fight, but this year’s contest became embroiled in next-level, human-quality drama when the little spotted kiwi nearly stole the election with fraudulent votes. In a major upset, it was the kakapo — the world’s fattest parrot — who was ultimately elected.

“BREAKING NEWS: In a stunning upset the kākāpō swoops in from behind to claw the title of #BirdOfTheYear 2020 away from competition front-runner — the toroa/Antipodean albatross,” environmental group Forest & Bird, which organizes the competition, announced Sunday.

The little spotted kiwi was briefly catapulted to the top of the bird leaderboard thanks to more than 1,500 votes which, Forest & Bird subsequently discovered, were fraudulent. “It’s lucky we spotted this little kiwi trying to sneak in an extra 1,500 votes under the cover of darkness!” said Bird of the Year spokesperson Laura Keown, in a press release. “But they’ll have to play by the rules like all of the other birds to win the competition.”

Talking to NPR, Keown noted that the kiwi’s quality shouldn’t be diminished by the voter fraud performed in its name.

“That is an amazing bird. It deserves all of the support. But unfortunately, these votes had to be disallowed, and they’ve been taken out of the competition,” she said, adding that the competition has had “little scandals like this in the past.”

The kakapo’s win is historic, as it makes the flightless, loud, distinctly scented and nocturnal bird the first species to ever win Bird of the Year twice. (It first won in 2008.)

Over 55,000 people voted in the contest, with other worthy contenders including a fellow fat and flightless species called the takahe (whose supporters created a TikTok-heavy campaign to focus on bringing in the youth vote), the enigmatic morepork and the polyamorous hihi, which was sponsored by the Adult Toy Megastore thanks to its freewheeling sexual behaviors, CNN reported.

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‘Fowl play’: Fat parrot wins disputed ‘Bird of the Year’ competition – New York Post

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