More than 21,000 votes were ca' />

New Zealand's bright green parrot, the kakariki, has something to sing about now that it has won bird of the year.

More than 21,000 votes were cast in Forest and Bird's poll this year - the kakariki attracted 6921 votes, followed closely by the pukeko with 5228 votes.

The cheeky kakariki gained favour among voters for its "flamboyant dress sense", Forest and Bird spokeswoman Nicola Vallance said. "It's essentially fluoro green, and the five different species of kakariki flash other colours, including red, yellow and orange, on their foreheads. They're also gorgeous chatterboxes, and they sound like they're always having fun," she said.

In flight they make a loud rapid chatter that sounds like "ki ki ki ki", she added.

Flocks of kakariki were spotted around New Zealand until the 1800s, when farmers and orchardists began shooting them to protect their crops, she said.

Kakariki were now scarcely seen and threatened by stoats, ferrets and rats, which kill the bird in its tree-hole nest.

"It would be wonderful to see and hear more kakariki throughout New Zealand, and better pest control in our forests is the best way to achieve this," Ms Vallance said.

It's the sixth year Forest and Bird has run the popularity contest.

Past winners include the tui, fantail, grey warbler, kakapo and the kiwi.

- NZPA