Out of 846 species, South Africans have chosen their favourite bird. It’s not the cheeky wagtail or the splendid Knysna loerie, or even the majestic fish eagle, but the nostalgic Cape Robin-chat that topped the list. The sweet red-chested bird took over 11% of the final votes.

According to BirdLife South Africa, the experts whittled down the list of 846 species to 52, and invited the public to vote for their favourite.

SA’s favourite bird chosen

“There are an incredible 846 species of birds in South Africa. Therefore, no matter where you are, you live side by side with birds. You can see them in your garden, on the way to work, up in the mountains, on the beach and in the bush. Just look out of your window and step out of your front door, and you will see and hear birds,” said a release by the organisation.

The other favourite birds, in order of popularity, were the Cape Parrot, African Fish Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher and African Penguin.

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The Marabou Stork, perhaps not the prettiest bird, only received nine votes.

A number of celebrities, sportspeople and organisations campaigned for their favourite birds.

Take a look at the final results below:

Species % Votes
Cape Robin-chat 11.5
Cape Parrot 10.5
African Fish-Eagle 8.9
Woodland Kingfisher 8.4
African Penguin 5.8
Secretarybird 5.3
Southern Ground-Hornbill 4.5
African Hoopoe 3.5
Wandering Albatross 3.2
Blue Crane 3
Knysna Turaco 2.9
Verreaux’s Eagle 2.3
Bateleur 2.1
Crested Barbet 2.1
Lilac-breasted Roller 2
Kori Bustard 1.7
Spotted Eagle-Owl 1.6
European Bee-eater 1.3
Blue Waxbill 1.1
Crimson-breasted Shrike 1.1
Drakensberg Rockjumper 1
Bokmakierie 1
Cape Wagtail 1
Cape Vulture 0.9
Hadeda Ibis 0.9
Burchell’s Coucal 0.9
Martial Eagle 0.8
Dark-capped Bulbul 0.8
Cape White-eye 0.6
Narina Trogon 0.6
Southern Masked-Weaver 0.6
Grey Go-Away Bird 0.6
Helmeted Guineafowl 0.6
Black-shouldered Kite 0.6
Orange-breasted Sunbird 0.6
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill 0.5
Saddle-billed Stork 0.5
Spotted Thicknee 0.5
Southern Red Bishop 0.5