Garden bird survey
The garden bird survey is a citizen science project established to monitor 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 do not know the population trends of our more common native or introduced birds. We hope that the annual garden bird survey will act as an early-warning system if currently common native species start declining. Several currently common native species occur in our gardens, including fantail (shown above), tui, bellbird, silvereye, grey warbler, and kereru (native pigeon). Measuring the population trends of these species is an enormous task, which is why we need your help.
Preliminary results 2014
- Silvereye – the lowest count on record, perhaps a result of mild weather in early winter, meaning birds did not have to come into gardens in search of food as much as they would when conditions are harsher
- House Sparrow – again by far the most numerous species counted, though the count was slightly lower than last year’s
- Song Thrush – like silvereye, the lowest count on record, continuing the decline in their numbers since counts began in 2007
- Most species – no evidence of increase or decline in numbers counted over the 8 years of the survey, though numbers counted have fluctuated from year to year