Gore woman Glenda Rees is campaign manager for the black-fronted tern in the Bird of the Year competition.
competition, in which the public votes to decide the winner.
Known for her photographs of birds, Ms Rees was asked at the last minute to be the little bird’s campaign manager.
“My first goal for the first 24 hours was not to be at the bottom – I’d be very happy if I got towards 500,” Ms Rees said.
To date, the kea is the frontrunner.
“I became passionate about the black-fronted tern after I photographed an adult flying in with a skink to feed its newly hatched chicks,” Ms Rees said.
“However, a few days later the chicks perished when the river flooded,” she said.
Flooding was just one of many threats to the existence of this species. Stoats and humans were too, she said.
The black-fronted tern is a slate-grey bird that sports a black cap and bright orange bill.
The competition website said the birds were found around Canterbury’s braided rivers, but they were also found in the South, Ms Rees said.
“These birds are around here,” she said.
When they were not breeding, they could be seen in coastal areas across New Zealand.
She was already planning next year’s campaign, Ms Rees said.