Every year in New Zealand, people pick their favorite bird in a fun vote called “Bird of the Year.” This time, it turned into a big deal all around the world because of comedian John Oliver.
The goal was to help endangered birds and the winner was named Bird of the Century. John Oliver got behind a bird called pūteketeke and made a huge fuss about it on his TV show. He said this bird needs help because there are only a few left in New Zealand.
Oliver went all out: he dressed up like the bird on TV and put up big signs in many countries, calling the bird “Lord of the Wings.” This got lots of extra votes – 50,000 more in just a day! The group running the vote didn’t expect this many votes, but they said Oliver’s team had talked to them before about it.
Some people argued if the pūteketeke should be in the vote because it’s found in both New Zealand and Australia. Others joked about it, comparing it to countries disagreeing about things. But in the end, the pūteketeke won with a huge 290,374 votes, beating other birds like the North Island brown kiwi.
People were surprised and happy about this. Even the new Prime Minister of New Zealand praised John Oliver for helping the bird win. This bird is a bit weird – it does strange things like vomiting its own feathers! But people loved its uniqueness and its endangered status. The organization behind the vote said most of New Zealand’s native birds are in danger.
They also mentioned that the number of pūteketeke birds is going up slowly, which is good news because a while ago, there were even fewer of them.
In short, John Oliver’s funny campaign not only made the pūteketeke bird a winner but also made many people pay attention to saving New Zealand’s special birds.