Did you take part in the recent Vote National Bird Campaign?
Well, over 200,000 individuals did just that and after all their votes were counted it was announced that the humble Robin was the nation’s favourite bird. Pecking at his heels in second place however, was the noble Barn Owl; the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary’s particular favourite!
The campaign was launched last year by ornithologist David Lindo who realised that, unlike other countries such as India (Peacock), Germany (Golden Eagle) and Ecuador (Andean Condor) Britain did not possess a National Bird.
People were thus asked to cast a vote for their favourite British bird and opportunities to do so were available online, at ballot boxes in schools or by postal vote. A list of 60 birds emerged for consideration including mute swan, kingfisher, wren, red kite and blue tit. A preliminary vote shortlisted 10 possible candidates for the title, after which the final ballot was opened in March 2015. A separate vote exclusively for children was instrumental in securing the title for the Robin (11,000 children voted - 20% for the Robin)!
Lindo states that he will now speak to the government about the possibility of Britain officially adopting the Robin as its national bird.
As far as the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is concerned, the Barn Owl remains our preference for national icon status! This magnificent bird’s pale plumage and liquid black eyes make it one of Britain’s most hauntingly beautiful birds and its eerily silent flight gives it a truly ghostly presence when encountered at night. Its wide facial disc renders it instantly recognisable and, as the national vote proves, it is beloved and revered not only by serious birdwatchers but also by “ordinary folks”.
Despite there being only one declared winner of the National Bird vote, David Lindo claims that the project is “..in fact a victory for all our British birds….the U.K.s biggest ever nature vote has reminded the British people how much they love the nature surrounding them.”