While the political parties continue to vie for your vote between now and 7 May, another poll is taking place - for our national bird. This poll is being run by David Lindo, the Urban Birder, and over the next couple of weeks a champion for each species will outline via this blog why 'their' species deserves your vote. It's a bit like a virtual hustings. Today, David shares his motivation for running the poll and encourages you to register your vote. So, if you need a distraction from the General Election, or indeed from voting for Bob, then please do take part in the vote for our national bird.
The Vote National Bird Campaign was born in Oakington Manor Primary School, Wembley. I was a seven year-old kid staring out of my classroom window bored of study and instead, looking out for birds. I was crazy about wildlife even back then with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Sadly, my enthusiasm for all things animate was not one that was shared by the majority of my classmates. Indeed, many openly thought that I had a screw loose. Whilst gazing out of the window staring at a noisy throng of sparrows in some bushes, I had a light bulb moment – what bird would my classmates deem as their favourite? I quickly went about constructing a poll that resulted in the sparrow being the runaway victor. I was delighted, as at the time it was my favourite too.
I promised myself at that tender age that when I grew up I would ask the same question again. Well, that day came two years ago when the idea flashed back into my head. After a bit of research I realised that embarrassingly, Britain did not have a national bird, but it did have a favourite bird in the guise of the robin – anointed via a newspaper poll in the early 60’s. I decided to embark on a campaign to get Britain voting for its first official national bird, alongside the general election.
The first round of voting occurred from August through to November last year when the public was invited to vote on 60 quintessentially British birds. The 10 most popular birds made it through to a shortlist and are currently going beak-to-beak for the public vote. This second phase of voting started on March 16th and will run to May 7th – the other election day.
Over 100,000 people have cast their votes for:
The winner will be named later in May and crowned as Britain’s first official national bird and hopefully ratified by the incoming government as well as the Queen. But to my mind, every bird in Britain is a winner because my hope is that this campaign will get the good folk of Britain thinking more about the nation’s birds. And that cannot be a bad thing.
The Urban Birder
This was a much easier election to cast a vote in than the other one promises to be! Looking forward to finding out the result.
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