I'm not really a betting woman. But there is one race I simply wouldn't miss tuning in to, hoping to back the winner. It's the race that stops the nation.
I'm talking, of course, about the race to become the Australian Bird of the Year.
Pitting emus against kookaburras, little penguins against magpies, cockatoos against lorikeets, it's a high stakes contest to determine Australia's favourite bird.
During October and November bird fans nationwide vote for one of the 50 carefully selected entrants. Then, during November, the top 10 birds go head to head in a nail-biting final voting round.
The last Bird of the Year contest was a close fight, with the humble magpie just pipping crowd favourite the white ibis (better known as the bin chicken) to take out the crown.
This year the contest has turned political, with the black throated finch gaining a strong show of support. This little (around 10 cm long) black, brown and grey finch has been under serious population decline, and is listed as threatened in NSW and as vulnerable in Qld.
Much of the remaining Qld population is under threat from the development of the Adani mine site. This hasn't gone unnoticed by Bird of the Year voters, who are throwing their support behind the finch.
Politics aside, the thing that I love the most about the Bird of the Year contest is that it is such an excellent avenue for science communication.
Science communication is something that is close to my own heart. It's about connecting scientists, and the research that they do, with non-expert audiences.
Science communication helps to educate people on different topics. It can be used to generate support (and even funding) for research projects or studies. It can help to inform decision making - individually or politically.
And, importantly, science communication can help to address misinformation or misconceptions. Science communication takes many different forms - newspaper and magazine articles, public talks and events, films, TV and radio shows, museum exhibits, social media campaigns and more.
In this day and age information comes at us thick and fast. To be effective, any attempt at science communication needs to be engaging and to grab our attention. And this is where I think the Bird of the Year contest is genius.
On the face of it, the whole thing is a simple popularity contest. But it also draws our attention to the wildlife around us. It educates us, without us even realising. Suddenly we have people across the country debating the merits of different birds - from what they look like to how they behave, and why.
The contest also highlights the conservation status of our avian friends, and draws attention to some of the biggest challenges they are facing, such as a changing climate and habitat loss, and helps to educate us on those issues.
Whether you're a fan of the mischievous sulphur-crested cockatoo or the promiscuous superb fairywren, why not jump online, cast your vote - and maybe learn a little bit more about our native wildlife along the way.