Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Number of survey returns

(Excludes returns from schools, parks, and other locations)

The total number of survey returns in 2014 was slightly lower than in 2013 (see table below). One possible reason is that the Dominion Post newspaper did not publish the survey form this year (283 forms were returned from the Dominion Post last year). Another possible reason is that the weather was bad during the week of the survey, so people may have been less inclined to do the survey. In addition to the returns from gardens, there were 100 returns from parks and 46 returns from school grounds.

Table showing number of survey returns each year and the percentage of them entered directly online by participants (garden returns only)

Year Number % entered online
2007 1954 <20?
2008 2212 30.1
2009 1808 38.5
2010 4193 30.5
2011 3089 37.2
2012 4029 60.0
2013 3511 70.1
2014 3221 76.3

Most returns came from Auckland (21%), followed by Canterbury (18%), Wellington (16%), and Otago (13%). Otago contributed the most survey returns on a per household basis (13% of returns from 5% of national households). Other regions contributing ‘above their weight’ included Tasman (1.9% of returns from 1.2% of national households), Wellington (16% of returns from 11% of national households), Hawke’s Bay (5.4% of returns from 3.7% of national households), and Marlborough (1.7% of returns from 0.9% of national households). This is the first year that Auckland has contributed most survey forms, but it is still contributing ‘below its weight’ (21% of returns from 30% of national households). Wellington slipped into third place this year (from top last year), probably because the Dominion Post did not publish the survey form.

Survey forms were published by The Press (Christchurch) and Otago Daily Times (Dunedin), as well as by Forest & Bird and Southern Bird magazines. Of all returns, 76% were entered directly online by participants and 24% by volunteer data-entry operators. This is the highest percentage entered online to date. The online survey form, developed by Andy Ball from Fairfax Media, was accessible from the Dominion Post, Landcare Research, Forest & Bird, and Ornithological Society websites (and maybe others). Of the hardcopy survey returns entered by volunteers, most were from forms downloaded from the garden bird survey website and from those handed out to the public (see table below).

Table showing source of garden bird survey returns received in 2014

Source   Number received   % received   % hardcopy
Online data-entry by participants   2458   76.3   -
Paper form printed from website   185   5.7   24.3
Paper form handed out to public (9,900)   172   5.3   22.5
Newspaper form from The Press   150   4.7   19.6
Forest & Bird magazine form (14,000)   143   4.4   18.7
Newspaper form from Otago Daily Times   92   2.9   12.1
Southern Bird magazine form (1,000)   11   0.3   1.4
Other sources (e.g. letter, email)   10   0.3   1.4
Total   3221   99.9   100.0

Number of birds counted

106,797 birds (average 33.2 birds per garden)

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