NZ Garden Bird Survey

NZ Garden Bird Survey
Te Tatauranga o ngā Manu Māra o Aotearoa

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research has proudly led this biodiversity study of urban and rural landscapes since 2007. This survey is the only one of its kind that informs policy makers, scientists, bird enthusiasts and other organisations nationwide who have an interest in the state of our garden birds and their environment.

The survey acts as a backyard barometer for our nation’s garden birds. It’s an early warning system to highlight any health issues, as well as evidence that our birds are thriving.

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research monitors changes in bird populations over time by comprehensively analysing bird counts gathered by New Zealanders. These are then distilled into meaningful metrics. To date, over 42,000 surveys of gardens and parks have been undertaken by individuals, schools, and community groups.

Tips for running the NZ Garden Bird Survey in your classroom

The garden bird survey is a simple bird-watching activity that connects children with the outside environment. It can be done as a class activity and/or at home.

Why take part?

  • Because it’s a fun activity!
  • It can easily be built into the curriculum (e.g. animal classification, population studies, hypothesis testing, data gathering, data analysis, report writing)
  • It introduces the concept and practice of carrying out simple surveys, which are important for scientific inquiry and a basic tool of conservation (you can’t look after wildlife properly unless you know what’s there and how much of it there is)
  • It conveys positive messages about caring for the environment, knowing and protecting what’s there
  • It can be a simple one-off activity or a catalyst for many environmental activities and projects
  • It can contribute to badge work (e.g. Science Badge, Duke of Edinburgh award, Science Fair) and there is also a DOC Kiwi Guardian medal available for completing the survey

Click on the "Register for Event" button above to visit the Garden Bird Survey website and explore the resources and information available for this year's survey.