The eagle is cruising. Votes are pouring in – but almost equally for both birds. The gap has now slightly widened to 44. Eagle still ahead.
As of this morning, 50,000 votes have been cast. Let’s celebrate this milestone by listening to our latest Full Story podcast – which features reader call-ins, and will equally make you laugh and cry.
The battle for 10th is why we’re here. If you’ve already voted, find a friend who hasn’t. Tell them it’s eagle v galah. They’ll want to pick one. Then, after 11am, tell them to vote again.
They have been neck-and-neck this entire vote. Here’s how it’s gone down:
The galah was ahead on the morning of day 1, but then eagle overtook in the afternoon. By day 3, the galah was back – and stayed there for an incredible 8 days. But just yesterday, around noon, it struck, overhauled the galah and has been on top, by 30-40 votes ever since.
Here’s the state of play. As of 8am:
- Black-throated finch: 7,107
- Australian magpie: 3,482
- Laughing kookaburra: 2,958
- Sulphur-crested cockatoo: 2,615
- Australian white ibis: 2,437
- Superb fairywren: 2,386
- Tawny frogmouth: 2,293
- Rainbow lorikeet: 1,694
- Willie wagtail: 1,610
- Wedge-tailed eagle: 1,551
- Galah: 1,508
In the second round, voting will go over 6 days. Until Thursday 5pm.
Galah or eagle?
Sometimes, a few hours end up defining history. Gavrilo Princip thought he’d missed Franz Ferdinand when, a few hours later outside a deli, the Archduke’s car pulled up in front of him. In 1983, Soviet soldier Stanislav Petrov’s missile warning system malfunctioned. Instead of firing back, he waited a few minutes.
In less than three hours, voting for round one of bird of the year will close. You may have missed the memo – there are two rounds this time. The top 10 birds go through. Then you get to vote again.
This makes the race for 10th crucial. And two brilliant, absolutely beautiful birds have been duking it out for weeks.
At 12pm yesterday it was the galah by 30. By 1.30pm, the wedge-tailed eagle by 14. And behind them, the carnaby’s black-cockatoo and the cassowary, lurking in striking distance.
It’s no exaggeration to say the next few hours could decide the whole election. 11th by a hair and you’re out. 10th, and you could win the whole thing.
If the galah gets up, that could split the parrot vote in the second round. If the eagle sneaks through, it could pick up votes from the cassowary, peregrine falcon and powerful owl, snowballing to victory.
It boils down to this. At 11am (AEDT), we start again. It’s a brave new world, a blank slate for any bird to seize and make their own. Ten birds will emerge, shaking off the dust, blinking in the sun. The question is, which will be there? The answer is up to you.