One of these was the antiestablishment firebrand the Hihi, who first came to prominence when it promised to 'build a huge predator proof fence, with a little gate' around New Zealand. When challenged initially on such a scheme, given its ability to prevent migratory birds such as the Godwit, or wind blown self-introduced species such as the Barn Owl, the Hihi had responded: 'The Godwits are sending us their murderers. Their thieves. And some Godwits, I assume, decent birds. But they come here illegally. We must act now to Make Our Forests Great Again.' Furthermore, after it heard a rumour that a barn owl may have once chased a pukeko from a barn, Hihi pledged to stop any more barn owls entering New Zealand 'until we know what's going on.'
Clearly, a controversial candidate for bird of the year. And a candidate wh would have been dissapointed to poll a paltry 243 votes. When asked to comment on today's result, Hihi simply pointed to a tweet it had sent out earlier in the day.
Of course, Hihi wasn't going to be allowed to rest on accusations of a rigged voting process without going unchallenged. When asked about the claims, Hihi pointed to the 'Lamestream Media believing crooked Kokako campaign lies.'
'Read the treemails!' Hihi implored. 'Kokako should be locked up in an aviary, not running for Bird of the Year. Such a nasty bird.'
However, Hihi admitted not all media were against him, surprisingly singling out formerly revolutionary left leaning freedom fighters Radio New Zealand for thanks on social media.
It wasn't just the media picked out for their perceived corruption, however. 'The Spur Winged Plover is a corrupt puppet candidate sponsored by Crooked Kokako to take votes off me,' Hihi declared. 'Sad! The plovers send us their murderers. Their thieves. And some plovers, I assume, are decent birds. Only Hihi can make the Forest great again.' When pointed out it had used the same accusations against the Godwit, Hihi declared such claims were lies, and he would instruct his attorney to sue any outlet making them. 'The disgusting Spur Winged Plover (check out the mating ritual) is being used by Crooked Kokako to discredit me.'
It has since been pointed out that there is nothing unusual or disgusting about the Plover's mating rituals. Indeed, the Hihi is in fact unique amongst birds, in that it mates face to face.
throughout the Bird of the Year campaign, Hihi insisted on portraying itself as a loose cannon, amtiestablishment firebrand, happy to play to the lowest common denominator with distasteful slogans such as 'Blackbirds matter? All birds matter!', and fiercely defending the size of its wings. 'My wings are great. I have the best wings, and believe me, I would not hesitate to press the 1080 button with those big wings,' Hihi declared. However further research points to a bird once firmly ensconced in the avian elite, appearing on a three dollar stamp under the name 'Stitchbird.' These revelations were put to Hihi, however were flatly denied. 'Lies. I'll be instructing my attorneys.'