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2018 NZ Garden Bird Survey update

2018 NZ Garden Bird Survey update - preliminary results show participant numbers sky rocket

Friday 6 July 2018

The number of people participating in this year’s NZ Garden Bird Survey has sky rocketed, with researchers already receiving thousands of completed surveys.

More than 2,000 people have been camping out in their backyards for an hour recording the highest number of bird species seen or heard in the garden since the annual NZ Garden Bird Survey began on 30 June.

Early survey results show Manaaki Whenua researchers could have the highest number of participants since the survey began 12 years ago, with three times the number of completed surveys already handed in.

“The number of survey returns received so far are 2,797, compared with 824 at the same time last year, so we are thrilled with the results,” says survey founder and Manaaki Whenua Research Associate Dr Eric Spurr.

The information gathered from the survey is used by researchers, who condense the information base into simple but powerful metrics that give insights into long-term trends in garden bird populations.

Early results show the number of silvereyes counted is nearly double that of last year, a welcoming sign for researchers.

“The increase in the number of silvereyes counted in gardens this year may be a result of the cold snap the week before the survey started last Saturday,” says Dr Spurr.

“House sparrow remains the most abundant species counted in gardens, with silvereye a clear second. The remaining species in the top 10 are the same as last year and in the same order as last year.”

There are still three days remaining before the survey closes on Sunday 8 July. Dr Spurr is encouraging people who haven’t yet done the survey to get into their gardens.

To participate in the survey, go to:


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