The annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey, the country’s longest-running citizen science project, kicked off on Saturday.
As the survey enters its latest edition, individuals across New Zealand are encouraged to spend an hour in their gardens, documenting the birds they observe and hear over the next nine days. The initiative plays a vital role in aiding scientists’ understanding of garden bird populations and their impact on the broader environment.
The survey, coordinated by Manaaki Whenua researchers, provides a valuable snapshot of the changing trends in bird populations throughout New Zealand.
Founder of the survey, Eric Spurr, said there has been increasing participation from the public each year. While the survey does not focus on determining the causes of changes in bird counts, Spurr noted the correlation between increased counts of native birds and intensified predator control and habitat restoration activities across the nation.
The survey not only serves as a monitoring tool but also fosters a sense of community and shared interests among participants who may not otherwise have the time or means to engage with such initiatives.