Birdwatching in your backyard

03 Jun 2011

The nationwide Garden Bird Survey is a good reason to get into the backyard this winter.

Last year Silvereyes were the most populous bird recorded in the bird survey. Photo: Nga Manu

Last year Silvereyes were the most populous bird recorded in the bird survey. Photo: Nga Manu

This year’s survey will be held between June 25 and July 3. During this week, people are asked to spend one hour in their gardens, local parks or school grounds to record the largest number of each bird species they see or hear at any one time.

This will be the fifth survey organised by Landcare Research and supported by Forest & Bird and the Ornithological Society.

More than 4000 people took part in last year’s survey, and organiser Eric Spurr hopes even more will join in this time.

“The data collected will provide us with a picture of how both native and introduced birds are faring in our gardens,” he says.

Last year, silvereyes were the top bird, after being in second place for the previous two years.

The total number of all birds counted was 187,858 from 4193 gardens (which represents an average of nearly 45 birds per garden).

The total number of silvereyes counted was 55,543 (an average of 13.2 per garden). House sparrows were second (52,779 counted), starlings third (11,837),
and blackbirds fourth (11,156).

These species have been the top four in every survey. The only other native species
apart from the silvereye to make the top 10 were tui and fantails.

To find out more see here www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/gardenbird/