We’re all a-twitter over the findings from the 2021 NZ Garden Bird Survey!

We’re all a-twitter over the findings from the 2021 NZ Garden Bird Survey!

In the lead-up to this year's event research from 2021's survey was released. The results make for some egg-cellent reading. So, without feather ado (sorry, we can't seem to help it), here’s a rundown of the findings from 2021.

At 5894 results nationwide, 2021 saw a near-identical number of submitted surveys as 2020. That’s nearly double the results from ten years ago!

And it’s good news for native birds across the motu. Kererū are especially out of the woods with a 102% increase over the last 10 years. Pīwakawaka are also big fans of our backyards, with counts up 47% over the past decade. Tūī (kōkō) have increased 30% nationally and are increasingly being seen (and heard) in greater numbers in the South Island.

Without waxing on about it, it’s especially heartening to see the silvereye (tauhou) reversing its slow decline from 23% in 2020 to just 10% in 2021, and showing a moderate increase in numbers since 2016. No bells are ringing for our korimako, but their numbers have remained steady over the past five years.

Most of our introduced species are on a good solid perch too, with little change for common garden birds such as song thrush, house sparrows, dunnock and chaffinch. Similarly, the myna (maina) shows little change across the country but appear to have a penchant for the glitz of Wellywood, where they have increased by 202% over the past ten years. Starling (tāringi) continue to decline - but they may be answering the call for a comeback, with a decreased rate of decline compared to 2020.

That’s just a sneaky peck at the findings too. There’s plenty more kernels to chew on in the full national report from 2021.

These numbers are invaluable for scientists, politicians and environmental organisations looking to gain a clear picture of the state of our nation’s wildlife and the health of our environment. And it’s all down to citizen scientists putting aside an hour to glean some data from their own gardens. Thanks to all who participated - and we look forward to seeing your fresh findings in the upcoming 2022 survey.

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