The hihi - a songbird which boasts extra large testicles - is among the avians competing to be crowned New Zealand

Songbird with extra large testicles in the running to be named New Zealand’s bird of the year

A songbird which boasts extra large testicles is among the avians competing to be crowned New Zealand’s Bird of the Year after it was endorsed by a local sex shop.

The hihi, also known as the stitchbird, is a medium-sized songbird that inhabits the mature native forest of some of New Zealand‘s smaller islands.

According to New Zealand Birds Online, the hihi has the notable distinction of having testicles ‘four times larger than expected’ based on its body size.

Its sizeable scrotum was just one of the attributes that attracted the support of the Adult Toy Megastore, which nominated the hihi in the country’s much-loved annual competition.

The hihi - a songbird which boasts extra large testicles - is among the avians competing to be crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year after it was endorsed by a local sex shop [File photo]

The hihi – a songbird which boasts extra large testicles – is among the avians competing to be crowned New Zealand’s Bird of the Year after it was endorsed by a local sex shop [File photo]

The company claimed the species ‘lead the sex positivity movement among songbirds,’ as they each have multiple sexual partners, The Independent reported.  

The polyamorous partnerships – unusual among birds – is the reason for the hihi’s larger loins as more sperm is required to mate with multiple females. 

The competition, which closes on Sunday, began six years ago as a way to raise awareness about New Zealand’s native birds – many of which are facing extinction. 

It has proved extremely popular with even the country’s top politicians wading into the debate. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed that she favours the black petrel, while her deputy, Grant Robinson, is backing the hihi.

As of Friday, 25,000 nominations had been submitted, according to The Independent, with the toroa, also known as the Antipodean albatross, taking the lead.    

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden (pictured) has voiced support for the black petrel in this year's race to be named the country's Bird of the Year, while her deputy, Grant Robinson, is backing the hihi

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden (pictured) has voiced support for the black petrel in this year’s race to be named the country’s Bird of the Year, while her deputy, Grant Robinson, is backing the hihi

Pictured: A black petrel in flight. The seabird is Arden's favourite to be crowned this year's Bird of the Year [File photo]

Pictured: A black petrel in flight. The seabird is Arden’s favourite to be crowned this year’s Bird of the Year [File photo]

The toroa, also known as the Antipodean albatross, was in the lead as of Friday, The Independent reported [File photo]

The toroa, also known as the Antipodean albatross, was in the lead as of Friday, The Independent reported [File photo]

This year’s poll has not been without its controversies. Last week, the organisers Forest and Bird released a statement saying that 1,5000 illegal votes had been cast for the kiwi pukupuku, also known as the little-spotted kiwi.

The votes were all found to have come from the same IP address.

‘It’s lucky we spotted this little kiwi trying to sneak in an extra 1,500 votes under the cover of darkness!’ Laura Keown, the spokesperson for Bird of the Year, said.

‘But they’ll have to play by the rules like all of the other birds to win the competition.’

The manager of the kiwi pukupuku campaign, Emma Rawson, slammed the attempt by some to use nefarious means to secure victory for the bird, saying: ‘voter fraud is not the kiwi way.’

The bird – an unofficial emblem for New Zealand – represented the country’s ‘values of democracy, fairness, equality and honesty,’ Rawson said. 

According to the New Zealand Bird of the Year website, some 75% of the country’s land birds and 90% of seabirds are at risk of extinction.  

The hihi, for example, is thought to number no more than 2,000 after significant conservation efforts, according to New Zealand Birds Online.  

Last year, the hoiho, which live and breed only in New Zealand was named the winner. The penguin’s name means ‘noisy’ in the Māori language. 

Last week, the organisers Forest and Bird released a statement saying that 1,5000 illegal votes had been cast for the kiwi pukupuku, also known as the little-spotted kiwi, all from the same IP address [File photo]

Last week, the organisers Forest and Bird released a statement saying that 1,5000 illegal votes had been cast for the kiwi pukupuku, also known as the little-spotted kiwi, all from the same IP address [File photo]

Last, year the hoiho, which live and breed only in New Zealand was named the winner. The penguin's name means 'noisy' in the M¿ori language [File photo]

Last, year the hoiho, which live and breed only in New Zealand was named the winner. The penguin’s name means ‘noisy’ in the Māori language [File photo]

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