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New Zealand Garden Bird Survey

At the end of June, we begin our 16th New Zealand Garden Bird Survey, the country’s longest-running citizen science project, and we’d like your help!

The survey is an annual citizen science project organised by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. It takes place over nine days between 25 June and 3 July this year. People count the birds they see in their back gardens, a school, park or marae.

This year we have a special guest joining us to help make our birds count – follow our social media channels to find out! The campaign starts in the first week of June. 

How you can help

Share the details to your networks, about the survey and how people can be involved. Last year, more than 7,000 people took part nationwide. Our goal this year is for substantially more people to share what birds they can see. If we could hit more than 8,000 we would be thrilled.

Here’s how people can get involved

  1. Visit the NZ Garden Bird Survey website to get started. 
  2. Select a garden, a local park, school grounds, or marae.
  3. Choose any ONE day between 25 June and 3 July.
  4. Look and listen for birds on that day for ONE hour.
  5. For each species, record the HIGHEST number seen or heard at one time.  
  6. Submit the results online at the NZ Garden Bird Survey website.

Why the survey is important

Garden birds are important to study as they act as an environmental indicator for the health of our ecosystems, so every sighting matters. The information we gather from this survey helps inform conservation decisions and further research, not just in New Zealand but worldwide.

How taking part in the survey can make a difference

Birds keep our gardens vigorous, they reflect the state of our own health, and birds inspire us to act by encouraging us to add our voices to calls for a healthy environment. By taking part in the country’s largest citizen science project, you can truly understand how important birds are in your life, and how you can best care for them. 

Resources for you to share with your community

We have provided some resources that might come in handy. You are welcome to distribute as appropriate for your networks. 

  • A tally sheet
  • A banner image
  • A set of “What’s That Bird’ identification posters
  • A “Create a bird-friendly haven in your garden” poster

Available on the NZ Garden Bird Survey website:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Bird identification tips
  • Tips on how to make a bird haven

Follow us and join the conversation on social media

Activity will start to ramp up from mid-June. We appreciate the sharing of content and encouragement of your audiences to participate in this survey.

And finally, in case anyone asks …why do 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. 

Your help sharing our message about the survey is much appreciated. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any more information or resources:

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