Bird of the year
Every year, I have a great time getting involved with the memes and fun of Forest and Bird's "Bird of the Year" competition, but as they state on their website, there's a serious message behind the fun.
"Sadly, many of New Zealand's native birds are in crisis. Two thirds of our birds are threatened with extinction. Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year celebrates our unique birds and with each vote you help give them a voice."
And every year, I try to draw some more native birds, both to celebrate them, and to bring their plight to the attention of more people. Here at Copper Catkin HQ, we are surrounded by birds to the extent that we have even called our home "Te Rerenga Manu", the flight of the birds.
Previous bird designs
I have drawn several native New Zealand birds over the years; they are all well-known stars of many a kiwiana design - which reminds me that I haven't even blogged about some of them, facepalm.
This year, I decided to run a poll on my Facebook page, and the consensus was: do some of the lesser-known and more endangered species.
A bird a (week-)day
As those who follow us on social media will probably have noticed, we are still cranking through a lot of property maintenance and decluttering at the weekend, so my bird-drawing activities will probably be restricted to weekdays. 23 birds is a big target, though, so I may cheat a little and do more than one when the mood takes me, if time and other commitments allow!
I am using this list, sourced from DOC, to guide my choices, and to avoid the temptation to cherry-pick, I will be working in alphabetical order.
Most severely threatened, facing an immediate high risk of extinction:
As a research resource, I will also be using NZ birds online.
I am very grateful for these resources, and of course, any errors or anatomical innacuracies are entirely mine.
An advent calendar of sorts
With the total number of birds being 23, it's very close to the traditional Christian Advent Calendar format (the ones that start on December 1) of 24 days. The term "advent" is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming", so the calendars are used as a form of countdown to the Christmas celebrations, and the birth, or advent, of the Christian messiah, Jesus Christ.
We are very much not a religious household, but this recognisable format is a good vehicle for the message that another advent is moving ominously closer - the extinction of many precious species, both here in Aotearoa and all over the world.
Tell me what to draw!
So, what bird should take spot #24?