Britons urged to vote for our national bird

Britons urged to vote for our national bird

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What would you say is Britain's national bird? The Robin perhaps, or the Blackbird? The truth is - and it might surprise you given that we're a nation of animal lovers - that we haven't got one.

Countries the world over have official national birds, but the UK is currently without a designated species. However, all that is set to change after an ornithologist called for everyone to get involved and vote for their favourite out of a top ten.

David Lindo, also known as the Urban Birder, has set up a poll comprising ten shortlisted native birds and the general public has between now and May 7th to lodge their ballot via votenationalbird.com.

The contenders are the Robin, Kingfisher, Barn Owl, Blue Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Puffin, Mute Swan, Red Kite and Hen Harrier.

Hot favourite so far is the Robin, no doubt thanks to its appearances on so many Christmas cards over the years, but the Red Kite is a particularly interesting entry, given that it was only recently reintroduced into the wild in parts of England and Scotland.

Mr Lindo said he wants as many people as possible to "vote for the bird that best represents all that is great about this nation".

Although he insists the vote will be entirely impartial, he admits to being somewhat partial to the Blackbird himself, as it reminds him of lazy summer days.

Once the voting is over, the keen birdwatcher will take the results to the government in the hope of getting the winner instated as Britain's official national bird.

The vast majority of the world's nations have a national bird, including the Kiwi for New Zealand and the majestic Bald Eagle for the USA. However, Britain has something in common with Canada in that neither of them can boast such representation.

What would be your winner if you could choose any species? Would it be one from this list, or something completely different?