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It's time to count the birds

A call has gone out for help with the annual national bird survey.

Hawke’s Bay residents are an important part of the annual Garden Bird Survey which is on again this year, from June 25 to July 3, says Regional Council biodiversity officer Rod Dickson.

The regional council encourages locals to do the surveys, organised by Lancare Research, as a useful way to track the outcome of possum control programmes in rural and urban areas.

“People are still telling us how much they appreciate having more native birds around their farms, gardens and urban areas since we’ve run our possum control operations, and many of these people help us by taking part in the survey,” says Mr Dickson.

This year's survey will be the tenth. It has grown to include 25,000 observations from people keen to participate in this citizen science opportunity. 

To take part, people  are asked to sit and watch their garden for an hour and record the maximum number of each bird species they see at any one time during that period. Results can be entered on the NZ Garden Bird Survey web page.

Tally sheets and guides for identifying birds are available online or at local libraries.

Many schools also take part in the survey and this year school children can take part in a virtual field trip during the survey week. There is also a colouring competition, bird mask activity and how to use chocolate fish to check bird sizes. Landcare Research has partnered with Department of Conservation and LEARNZ for the education component and teachers can register their classes through the bird survey webpage: www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/plants-animals-fungi/animals/birds/garden-bird-surveys/taking-part. - Hawke's Bay Regional Council

4 October 2017

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