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Wren

On May 7th after months of campaigning a very important poll will climax; forget the General Election, voting will close in a survey to find Britain’s national bird.

In the 1960s the robin was voted Britain’s favourite bird and many people mistakenly believe the wren is Britain’s’ national bird. However, despite this Britain has never officially adopted a national bird. Now birdwatcher and TV presenter David Lindo, aka the Urban Birder, hopes to change that and is fronting a campaign to help find a new official national bird.

Last year more than 70,000 people took place in an online survey to narrow a list of 60 birds down to ten finalists. The ever popular robin is still in the running and is joined by the barn owl, the blackbird, the blue tit, the hen harrier, the kingfisher, the mute swan, the puffin, the red kite and the wren all vying for the top spot.

A number of countries have national birds with eagles a popular choice – America has the bald eagle, Egypt, Germany, Italy and Afghanistan all have the golden eagle while Spain has its own Spanish imperial eagle. Elsewhere in Europe Sweden has the blackbird, Denmark the mute swan and Austria the barn swallow.

Many national birds are picked to highlight their plight such as the Phillipine eagle which was chosen in the 1990s in an attempt to reverse its decline. For this reason Chris Packham is campaigning for people to vote for the hen harrier, England’s most endangered bird of prey.

Talking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Lindo said, "I want to encourage the great British public to vote for the bird that best represents all that is great about this nation." He hopes after the dust has settled from “the other election” it will be the first act of a new government to make the appointment official.

Northern Ireland does not have a national bird and a campaign in 2013 by the RSPB to make the golden eagle Scotland’s national bird was rejected by the Scottish parliament. The red kite is sometimes regarded as the national symbol of Wales but this is not official.

To cast your vote for Britain’s National Bird visit VoteNationalBird.com. Voting will close at midnight on May 7th with the results announced shortly after.

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