Time to count the birds

Southlanders are asked to spend an hour in the garden in this week, observing the different types and numbers of birds that come to visit.

The annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is taking place from 30 June until Sunday, 8 July and is an opportunity for the country to build a picture about what types of birds are visiting gardens and where they are visiting.

Biosecurity and biodiversity manager Ali Meade [pictured] said Southland last year featured near the bottom of the ladder for the number of surveys completed, but  the region had an important story to tell about local birds.

“The information about birds helps feed into the bigger picture of biodiversity within Southland, where and how their habitat impacts on numbers and species and where predators might be playing a major role in declining numbers,” she said.

“The survey takes just an hour and people of any age can participate. You don’t even need to do it in your own garden: if you don’t have a suitable backyard just head to the local park, a paddock or sports field and carry out the survey there.

“You can take part in the survey any time this week,” she said. “There’s an easy form to capture the information and a bird identification poster to assist online at www.landcareresearch.co.nz.”