Calling all birders!

Photo of tui
This beautiful boy was saved by Gordonton bird rescuer Bill Smith.

The great 2020 Garden Bird Survey starts soon!  Get ready the binoculars, sharpen the pencils and settle somewhere comfy for a lovely hour watching birds.

By taking part you’ll help build a picture of New Zealand’s common and widespread birds, as well as help inform future conservation efforts.  It’s also a lot of fun.

This year’s survey starts on Saturday 27 June and ends on Tuesday 5 July.

For each species record the highest number seen (or heard) at one time. (Check out questions and answers – including full instructions – here, as well as a photographic guide to help with identification.)

Then submit survey results here.

The survey is a citizen science project which monitors the population trends of common garden birds in New Zealand. It attempts to answer the question, ‘Are garden bird populations increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable?’

New Zealand has a number of rare native bird species that are declining in number, but we don’t know the population trends of our more common native or introduced birds. It is hoped that the annual garden bird survey will act as an early-warning system if currently common native species start declining.

This year Woodlands Estate in Gordonton are taking part, and keen local birders Annette Taylor and David Riddell will complete a survey there.  (If you pop out to the historic homestead and see two people with bins looking up trees, say hi!)

We also took part in the survey at our home.  See if you can top our effort last year! The Woodlands Road Garden Bird survey yielded 17 species, as follows:

Last year (2019) we saw: Mallard 4, Pukeko 10, Harrier 2, Spur-wing Plover 1, Rosella 4, Kingfisher 1, Welcome Swallow 3, Silvereye 6, Grey Warbler 1, Fantail 2, Blackbird 3, Thrush 1, Myna 3, Starling 6, Yellowhammer 1, Goldfinch 3, Greenfinch 1, Chaffinch 1, House Sparrow 11, Magpie 2


Photo of bird watching
Cat is helping. Not.

The annual survey is New Zealand’s longest running citizen science project, and began in 2007. It is organised by Landcare Research and supported by NatureWatch, TopFlite, Birds NZ and Forest & Bird.

Click here to visit the Garden Bird Survey site.


Graphic of garden bird survey

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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