Australia's Favourite Bird May Surprise You

At least it’s not a magpie…

Australia has a number of unique and interesting birds. From the joyous ‘laughing’ kookaburra to the terrifying cassowary, each bird has its own Aussie following.

However, despite the glorious colours of the king parrot or the intrigue of the wattlebird, the bird that has come out on top is none other than the ubiquitous white ibis, also known as 'The Aussie Bin Chicken'.

Image: National Geographic, Australian White Ibis

The Australian white ibis has been given a pretty bad rap lately. Known for diving in dumpsters and eating anything it can get its long beak on; this native bird is resilient.

Fondly known as the dumpster diver, neck bird, bin chicken or tip turkey these unique birds have an intriguing history.

A reasonably resilient species, the bird migrated after its habitat in the interior wetlands diminished in the 1970s. Instead of dying out the bird moved closer to the coast where it multiplied (some might say a little too much).

The ibis has since adopted a new diet (hopefully not including too much bin juice) and very cavalier attitude about human contact. And now, according to the Australian public, it’s well on its way to becoming Australia’s bird of the year.

The poll, run by both The Guardian and BirdLife Australia isaims to determine Australia’s Bird Of The Year for 2017.

According to the recent numbers, the white ibis is on top with 982 votes, closely followed by the swooping magpie (which may be surprise some people given its notoriety) with 809 votes. In third place so far, is the laughing kookaburra with 604 votes.

The project is a reminder to protect and conserve our native species from things like deforestation, climate change, and urbanisation.

So if you have a favourite bird species, even if it is a white ibis, cast your vote now. And for goodness sake think twice before voting for the swooping magpies - they’re already confident enough.

Lead Image: National Geographic

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