TODAY |

The cheeky kea takes out the tough Bird of the Year competition

The kea has been crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year, after a tense voting period not without scandal. 

It's a Nationally Endangered bird and has taken out the 2017 title. Source: Supplied

The kea, known fondly for its cheekiness, generated 7,311 votes over the two week period. 

It is a Nationally Endangered bird, with between 3,000-7,000 remaining. 

The mountain parrot has taken the crown after a record number of Kiwis took to the polls. Source: 1 NEWS

"The kea's intelligence and inquisitive nature can also get them into trouble," Forest & Bird said in a statement.

"When frequenting populated areas they are known to get hit by cars or stuck in human-made objects.

"They can also get sick from human food."

The kea had a successful campaign team in its bid for the win, with co-campaigner Laura Young saying they "lobbied hard" for the bird. 

Dr Young is involved with kea conservation through working on the 'Kea Database’. 

"We're proud to say we ran a peaceful campaign compared to many other birds," she said.

"There were no attack politics from Team Kea, we just did our own thing and went at it hard. You can't not love them."

The video supporting the bid was created by Ryan Wilkes from The Path Less Traveled

This year was a record-breaker, attracting more than 50,000 votes, a massive jump from the 20,000 people who voted in 2016. 

It was also a year of scandal, after a voting fraudster was caught making more than 100 fraudulent votes for Matuku Moana (white-faced heron).

The competition raised more than $10,000 for Forest & Bird. 

The kereru came in second place with 4,572 votes, followed by the kakapo with 2,554 votes. 

Full results:
• Albatross (Toroa), 643
• Banded Dotterel (Tūturiwhatu), 787
• Bar Tailed Godwit (Kuaka), 110
• Barn Owl, 235
• Bellbird (Korimako), 472
• Bittern (Matuku), 508
• Black Billed Gull (Tarāpuka), 896
• Black Fronted Tern (Tarapirohe), 233
• Black Robin, 1098
• Blue duck (Whio), 908
• Brown Teal (Pāteke), 101
• Fairy Tern (Tara Iti), 473
• Fantail (Piwakawaka), 1257
• Fernbird (Kotata), 107
• Fiordland Crested Penguin (Tawaki), 460
• Gannet (Takapu), 92
• Grey Warbler (Riroriro), 360
• Harrier (Kahu), 162
• Hihi (Stitchbird), 1999
• Hutton's Shearwater, 332
• Kākā, 648
• Kākāpō, 2554
• Kākāriki, 300
• Kakī (Black Stilt), 826
• Kārearea (New Zealand Falcon), 1108
• Kea, 7311
• Kererū, 4572
• Kingfisher (Kōtare), 526
• Kiwi, 646
• Kōkako, 1426
• Little Blue Penguin (Korora), 724
• Mohua, 115
• New Zealand Dotterel (Tuturiwhatu), 156
• New Zealand Robin (Toutouwai), 567
• Pūkeko, 223
• Rifleman (Tītipounamu), 227
• Rock Wren (Pīwauwau), 453
• Rockhopper Penguin, 742
• Royal Spoonbil (Kōtuku Ngutupapa), 247
• Ruru (Morepork), 1113
• Saddleback (Tīeke), 519
• Scaup (Pāpango), 80
• Shag (Kawau), 97
• Shining Cuckoo (Pīpīwharauroa), 90
• Shore Plover (Tūturuatu), 182
• Silvereye (Tauhou), 132
• Takahē, 855
• Tomtit (Miromiro), 215
• Tūī, 1003
• Weka, 369
• Westland Petrel (Tāiko), 81
• White Faced Heron, 122
• Whitehead (Pōpokatea), 117
• Wrybill (Ngutuparore), 277
• Yellow Eyed Penguin (Hoiho), 889