Identifying garden birds
Waking up to a chorus of bird song is one of the great delights of living in Aotearoa. But can you differentiate the chime of a korimako (bellbird) from the tūī in that kōwhai tree? Could you pick a yellowhammer from a line up of tauhou (silvereye)? And, for the love of all things feathered, why is the female blackbird brown?
With the annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey kicking off on June 25 it’s time to study up. In order to tally the birds for the survey’s hour it’s good to establish a basic idea of who is regularly visiting.
First stop: the NZGBS Bird Identification tool. This is an excellent starting point with common garden visitors tidily divided into small (<15cm), medium (15 - 30cm) and large species (<30cm). A wonderful and easy-to-use library of bird recordings is also available to assist in identifying birds by the call.
For the record, we liked one Forest & Bird reader’s tip for the korimako or tūī conundrum: "Bellbirds can sound like tūī, but without the swearing at the end". Read more hilarious descriptions of the bird songs in this thread (and for more NZGBS action follow their Facebook page). Also, have a look at these great online tools…
Experiencing birds in your green space
New Zealand Birds Online
DoC Bird Identification online course