Each year the New Zealand Ornithological Society (Birds New Zealand) holds a competition for recording the biggest number of bird species in 24 hours – referred to as a ‘twitchathon’. The award is a fibreglass takahē holding binoculars, known by the punning title of Porphyrio mantelli Mantelpiece Monstrosity. The winners in 2006 were Ted Wnorowski and Ken Bond of Auckland (pictured), who saw 100 wild species – a New Zealand record. This required good identification skills, and a well-planned strategy to visit a variety of habitats at the optimal time of day or stage of tide.
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Photograph by Nick Allen
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