TODAY |

Aotearoa's backyard bird count kicks off this weekend

There’s a huge science project underway across the country right now, and it’s rather unique.

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Bird whisperer Tim Lovegrove led the way. Source: Seven Sharp

That’s because the researchers behind it don’t necessarily have extensive university degrees under their belt; all they need is a backyard, a keen set of ears and a pen and paper. 

New Zealand’s Annual Garden Bird Survey is similar to a census for birds, but in order to work, they’re in dire need of the public’s help. 

Nearly 40,000 people have been counting the birds heard in their gardens in the country’s longest-running citizen science project since its inception in 2007

Renowned bird whisperer, Tim Lovegrove says the annual survey helps to provide a general indication of how bird populations are going right around the country. 

“Just the sheer numbers coming in, you can start to see major trends. The Garden Bird Survey is showing us that tūī and kererū have increased for instance.” 

A kererū, New Zealand wood pigeon. Source: 1 NEWS

“Just find a nice vantage point in your garden, sit there for an hour and observe and note the maximum number of any species you see - if you see five, put down five.” 

By monitoring bird populations it can help reflect the state of the environment in that area, as the healthier the ecosystem, the more bountiful the populations are bound to be. 

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is set to kick off from Saturday, continuing until July 4. 

Kiwis keen to take part in this year's count can do so here.