Meet the Winner of Our First-Ever Cutest Pet Contest

Kiwi, an 18-year-old Senegal parrot living in Bergen County, boasts a devoted online following.

Kiwi, the 18-year-old winner of our first-ever Cutest Pet Contest. Photo by Linda Bohm

You might say Kiwi’s victory in New Jersey Monthly‘s Cutest Pet Contest is a feather in her cap. The contest, sponsored by Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals, ran from January 7–February 14 on this website.

Kiwi is an 18-year-old Senegal parrot with vibrant grey, green and yellow feathers. She lives in Bergen County with owner Joia Pisani and family, who found Kiwi at a specialized bird and parrot store in New York City.

About the size of a Beanie Baby, Kiwi is a pro at posing for pictures with the tiny trinkets her fans find for her. She has quite the collection of everyday items in her size, including dresses, hats, coffee cups, a martini glass and even a mini laptop.

“My friends, family and coworkers always find little things and give them to me,” says Pisani. “They say, ‘Oh, this will be perfect. Can you put this next to her?’” 

Kiwi doesn’t seem to mind the attention, especially when her photo shoots include her parrot-sized shopping cart—the prop she enjoys the most. 

For a parrot, Kiwi isn’t particularly chatty, but she can say her own name and ask those around her, “What did you say?” 

While Kiwi can’t fly, you can find her zooming on foot into the kitchen whenever Pisani sits down to eat. Her favorite human foods? Pasta and potato chips. 

You can find a collection of Kiwi’s pictures at @LittleBirdBigAdventures on Instagram and Facebook.

The winner of our first-ever Cutest Pet Contest (sponsored by Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals) was chosen in a two-step process. A total of 161 photos were entered in the contest from January 7–February 14, on this website. Ten finalists were chosen in an online vote. A panel of five experts chose the winning pet from the 10 the finalists and two additional editor’s picks. The judging was based on five criteria: appeal of the pet; pose; composition of the photo; quality of image; and originality. Our judges: Kristin Barber, Rahway Kitty Hall, Rahway; Linda Bohm, Bohm-Marrazzo Photography, Boonton; Mary Anne Broderick, pet photographer, Millstone Township; Kate McMahon, professional groomer; and Alessandra Sawick, pet photographer, North Arlington. New Jersey Monthly donated a portion of the proceeds from the contest to benefit Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter.

Read more Animals, From the Editors articles.

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