The New Zealand falcon has been crowned Bird of the Year in a conservation organisation's annual poll.
The falcon, or karearea, got 1261 votes out of 10,292 submitted in the poll by Forest and Bird. It was followed by the kokako with 965 votes, and the morepork, or ruru, with 663.
Forest and Bird's advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell says the falcon is a top aerial predator that can reach speeds of up to 230km/h.
However, it is vulnerable to mammalian predators when nesting and is listed as a threatened species.
Comedian Raybon Kan, who campaigned for the karearea , said the bird deserved the win. "It's on the $20 bill - some of those birds are on more expensive amounts of money so that's quite elitist. I thought the $20 bill was just the right amount."
Previous winners are the tui (2005), fantail (2006), grey warbler (2007), kakapo (2008), kiwi (2009), kakariki (2010) and pukeko (2011).
1. NZ falcon (karearea) - 1261 votes
2. Kokako - 965
3. Morepork (ruru) - 663
4. Kaka - 598
5. Kakapo - 461
6. Fantail (piwakawaka) - 458
7. Kea - 436
8. Tui - 399
9. Yellow-eyed penguin (hoiho) - 395
10. Kereru - 347