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Get Involved in the Garden Bird Survey

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How many native birds visit your garden?  How many garden birds such as blackbirds, sparrows, thrushes?  Are there more this year than last year?

People can help answer these questions by getting out into their backyard and take part in the annual NZ Garden Bird Survey.  The survey is on from 24 June to 2 July.

The survey is a citizen science project organised by Landcare Research and supported in this region by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Cape to City. The survey uses information gathered by residents and makes it available for volunteer groups and organisations to use to measure progress on their enhancement projects.

Cape to City is one Hawke’s Bay environmental restoration project that uses the bird survey data.

“As bird populations do well and increase within the Cape Sanctuary area, they are moving out into the Cape to City project area to find suitable food and habitat, which indicates a healthy ecosystem.  More native birds are moving around urban areas too, so this survey information helps us learn about the corridors they are using to get into people’s gardens,” says Campbell Leckie, HBRC Manager Land Services and Cape to City Project Coordinator.

All the survey requires is for people to watch birds for an hour in their garden or local park during the week.  They count how many of each different bird species they see and complete the survey online at Landcare Research’s website,  

The website also has photos and information to help people identify less-familiar birds, results of last year’s survey and fun activities for families, such as quizzes, mask making and colouring competitions.  People can also add photos of birds, or post pictures to the Facebook page for NZ Garden Birds.

Information and some survey forms are also available at public libraries.

People keen on doing the survey may be interested in HBRC’s discussion document for a new Regional Pest Management Plan is currently available for consultation.  There are also national initiatives such as the Threatened Species Strategy, which is out for consultation, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on the state of our birds (“Taonga of an Island Nation”), and the proposals for Predator Free 2050.


22 June 2017

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