By ROBYN BRISTOW
Canterbury Raptor Rescue (CRR) is running a campaign to make this year, the Year of the Harrier Hawk.
The campaign is being run in memory of Eva, who died earlier this year after several years being the face of Raptor Rescue.
CRR is keen to add the Bird of the Year title to her memorial plaque and is urging people to vote for the beautiful Kahu / Harrier hawk in honour of Eva in the Bird of the Year competition run by Forest & Bird.
Eva came to CRR about three years ago and was trained by CRR founder, Sean Petersen, until she was able to start going out to the public doing advocacy work in 2014.
She was taken into schools/preschools, to mental health groups, children’s clubs among other venues.
For many people she was the first hawk they had ever seen or seen close up.
As she was so calm, she was able to go into most situations and not be phased.
She even went into the More FM studios a few months ago for an interview.
After her sudden death, there was an outpouring of emotion and support from many people who she had made a lasting impression on during her lifetime.
Eva was cremated by a local organisation and donations received are being used to build a memorial enclosure in her name.
The Bird of the Year competition invites people to vote for their favourite New Zealand native bird and is aimed at educating people and highlighting the plight of birds whose habitats are being destroyed and whose eggs, young birds and adults, are preyed on by stoats, cats, possums and rats.
Forest and Bird says more than half of New Zealand’s native land birds are not found anywhere else in the world and a third of the world’s seabirds spend a large part of their lives in New Zealand waters.
Forest & Bird has played a vital role in helping to turn around the precarious situation of many of New Zealand’s plants and animals since its formation in 1923 through community-driven predator control and advocacy work.
Heritage Expeditions are offering Bird of the Year voters a chance to visit the Subantarctic Islands on an expedition in December. Found between New Zealand and Antarctica, these wild islands are teeming with birds and wildlife. Voting closes on Sunday October 30th at 5pm.