News National Magpie wins Australian Bird of the Year poll

Magpie wins Australian Bird of the Year poll

Bird of the Year
The magpie has pipped the 'bin chicken' as Australia's Bird of the Year. Photo: AAP
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The magpie is the Australian Bird of the Year, and not everyone is happy.

The bird that stalks people, swoops children in playgrounds, and the subject of community warning systems is Australia’s most popular bird.

The magpie, with 19,926 votes from the public topped the vote, with the Australian white ibis, fondly known as the bin chicken, coming in at second with 12 per cent of the vote, followed by the kookaburra.

The poll was open on the Guardian Australia website in conjunction with BirdLife Australia until December 9.

Self-styled ‘birdman’ Sean Dooley spoke to ABC News Breakfast as the winner was announced on Monday morning.

“The bin chicken — the ibis — was leading when the poll went dark,” he said.

“Coming up close behind it was the magpie.

“It has been neck-and-neck in the home straight, but the magpie has been the number one bird — the Bird of the Year is the Australian magpie.”

The top 10 from the BirdLife poll:

Bird of the Year
BirdLife Australia released its top 10 list. Photo: BirdLife Australia

What’s so good about a magpie?

Given most of us have probably spent some time avoiding the bird, why does it deserve to be number one?

“Interestingly, the magpie and the ibis, voted one and two, would probably also win the least favourite,” Mr Dooley said.

He thinks the magpie does have something to offer.

“They’re incredible birds and they have an amazing vocal range, they’re one of the most complex vocal birds of any bird in the world,” Mr Dooley said.

“It is so evocative – that kind of carolling.

“Magpies are easily tamed and people have a great connection with them. They love to feed them.

“Clearly, there are a lot of people out there who have a special relationship with a magpie.”

However, people on social media were divided, but invested, in the result.