Photo by Mark Stoop on Unsplash

Neighbourhood watch

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is on again!

It’s nationwide. It’s extremely helpful for our conservation efforts. And it’s on again this week!

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey runs in 2020 from the 27th of June to the 5th of July. Go here to see all the details for how you can help.

This vitally important initiative has been running for fourteen years now, the ‘citizen science’ approach helping scientists at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research track how our country’s bird populations have changed over time.

Each year the results have been interesting and those from 2019 proved no different. Last year saw the trend of rising populations for pīwakawaka, tūī and kererū continue, with some evidence that bellbirds were doing well too. Some introduced species, such as the song thrush, goldfinch and starling, are still continuing to trend downwards.

We’re sure this year will be an eye-opener too. Will the milder start to winter increase bird numbers, or change the species we’ve seen in the past? Will the recent lock down have affected what birds are appearing, and where?

The survey is really very easy to undertake. All you need to do is spend an hour in your backyard (or in a local park or reserve) counting and recording the highest number of each species seen at any one time.

Here are the details:

  1. Visit the Garden Bird Survey website to get started
  2. Select a garden, park or school
  3. Choose any ONE day between 27 June and 5 July.
  4. Look and listen for birds for ONE hour
  5. Use a tally sheet (available on the website) to record for each species the highest number seen or heard at one time
  6. Submit your results online at: gardenbirdsurvey.landcareresearch.co.nz

Quick tip: We find a comfy chair, a good cuppa and a warm blanket helps at this time of year too!