Te Tatauranga o ngā Manu Māra o Aotearoa / The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is taking place this year from 29 June to 7 July.

Birds are important indicators of the health of New Zealand’s environment and to help us discover and learn more about New Zealand garden birds, participate in this annual citizen science project.

Rights: Private Collection

Recording bird species

A year 4 student records the different species of birds visiting her garden at home for the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey. Other online citizen science projects offer variations on bird data collection depending on desired learning outcomes.

This is organised by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. It takes place over nine days and people count the birds they see in their backyards, local parks or schools.

How to get involved

  • Visit the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey website to get started
  • Select your garden, park, marae or school
  • Choose one day from 29 June to 7 July
  • Look and listen for birds for ONE hour on ONE day
  • Record the HIGHEST number of a bird species observed at one time
  • Submit the results online at the NZ Garden Bird Survey website.
Rights: Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research

Garden Bird Survey

This New Zealand citizen science project collects observational data about bird sightings and allows you to compare your region with others over time.

If you're wondering why we do this in winter? It may seem odd – but in fact it makes sense.

We are more likely to see birds in our gardens in winter, because they’re attracted in when there’s less food for them in the wider environment. This means that we get better results, showing the true state of our garden birds.

For further information on doing the survey, why your contribution matters, resources for schools and feathered fun activities: https://gardenbirdsurvey.nz/take-part

See the te reo Māori resources for children and teachers on the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey website.

Related content

The PLD planning article New Zealand Garden Bird Survey – a context for learning offers ideas for getting started and making the most of this annual survey.

The Hub has numerous resources on native birds. Conserving native birds – introduction is a good place to start or see the range of content under our birds topic.

Citizen science

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey has been running since 2007, providing extensive data to look back through and consider.

Explore some related New Zealand citizen science projects:

  • iNaturalist NZ lets you record what you see in nature.
  • Participate in eBird to log bird sighting data year round and compare data from around the world.
  • If you live in the mountainous parts of the South Island or are planning a school trip there you could contribute to the Kea Database.

For more citizen science content on the Hub, see the range of resources under the citizen science concept.

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