Birdmen make a splash in Welly harbour for Forest and Bird
THE New Zealand Forest and Bird Society ran this year’s Wellington Birdman competition as a fundraiser.
“We’re looking for ways to connect to the community, while having fun at the same time,” says Helen Ward, organiser of the birdman competition.
“The entrants fundraised for Forest and Bird”.
Polystyrene Hobbit caves became flying pirate ships as over 40 people braved the overcast weather and made the jump.
Nautical-themed winners Scotty Hunter and Mo Altahan came along to their first Birdman competition with clear intentions on winning.
“The main part is a piece of carved polystyrene cave used in Hobbit that we got from Weta,” Mr Altahan says.
“Our idea started with a plane, then went to a car. Sometime after that it became a pirate ship,” he says.
“I looked at it this morning and named it the ‘Party Pearl”.
Fellow crewmember Scotty Hunter says it took about a week to make.
Other birdman costumes included a cardboard toilet-plane, an ‘angry birds’ glider, and unicorns.
Competition judge and Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra member Sam Auger said the winning costume had something special.
“It was clear they put a lot of effort into their machine,” he says.
“There was an element of risk. I think they landed on top of each other, that’s got to hurt.”
Fellow orchestra members Bek Coogan and Megan Salole were also part of the celebrity judging panel, along with Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and comedian Raybon Kan.
Coogan, a bird-lover, said the competition was “about being a dork, being shameless and having fun. It’s also for a really important cause.”
Birdman Wellington was organised by Forest & Bird and contestants were encouraged to raise money for the not-for-profit conservation organisation.
Forest & Bird fundraiser and competition organiser Helen Ward was “blown away” by the enthusiasm for Birdman Wellington.