Bird Watchers, Get Counting: It’s Bird Survey Time!

Manaaki Whenua | Landcare Research is running its annual Garden Bird Survey right now (from 26 June – 4 July). To participate you need to spend 60 minutes  in your garden, local park or reserve recording the birds you see at any one time between 26 June – 4 July.

To take part, go to gardenbirdsurvey.landcareresearch.co.nz. There are heaps of resources on this website including helpful pictures of the birds you are most likely to see, printable tally sheets, quizzes, competitions, and how to enter as a school group, if that’s your jam!

Taking part is easy:

  1. Select your garden, park, or school
  2. Choose one day from 26th June to the 4th July
  3. Look and listen for birds for ONE hour.
  4. Record the HIGHEST number of a bird species observed at one time.
  5. Submit your survey results below.

Your survey results will be analysed by the Landcare Research scientists. This will help them know and understand things like how our bird populations are changing over time, and keep an eye on any population trends (good and bad).

Fantail 1So do your part to help care for our wonderful birdlife! Did you know that at the end of Day 1 alone

  • 282 Surveys were submitted
  • 12,187 Birds counted
  • 68 Species counted
 And if you still have some questions, jump onto the FAQ page on the website to answer the ones you have, and ones you hadn’t even thought about around all things birds + survey.


Book Jacket for: A bird in the hand : keeping New Zealand wildlife safeBook Jacket for: Discovering New Zealand birdsBook Jacket for: NZ birds

Wellington City Libraries have loads of books and resources about New Zealand birds.

Or you could browse the Non-Fiction shelves under the Dewey Number of 598.


Other useful websites:

Birds New Zealand

Department of Conservation

Forest and Bird

New Zealand Geographic

Become an ornithological expert and help understand and protect Aotearoa’s wonderfully diverse birdlife.


 

Become an Environmental Scientist with the City Nature Challenge!

Finish off the school holidays in environmental style by taking part in the City Nature Challenge this weekend! From Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Wellington will be transformed into a giant nature playground — and you will be turned into scientists, should you choose to take up the challenge of embarking on a four-day bioblitz!

WCC gardener photographing a plant using the iNaturalist app at a Wellington City garden.

Nate Rigler, WCC gardener, investigating some local flora! Photo credit: Tim Park.

So what is the City Nature Challenge? It’s a global event that sees people from over 250 cities across the world search for, report, and log any sightings of wild plants, creatures, or organisms, living or dead, on the land, up the mountains, and in the sea — and around our backyards.

It’s super easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group, go for a walk in the city (looking out for local flora and fauna as you go!) and when you spot something cool, upload it to the app. There are prizes to be won and a natural environment to be discovered, so pick up a flyer from your local library, or head over to the City Nature Challenge website, to find out more!

If nature is your kind of thing, Wellington City Libraries has a huge range of books and other resources on the topic. Use the following links to find books on our catalogue about various topics relating to the plants, animals, and environment of New Zealand — or use the Dewey Decimal numbers to help you search the shelves the next time you visit the library!

Here are some that you might find particularly useful as you participate in the City Nature Challenge this weekend:

New Zealand nature heroes / Candler, Gillian
“New Zealand Nature Heroes is designed to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists. Aimed at the 8-12 age range, the book features stories of 15 different nature heroes, people who, in the past, or currently, are working to protect and understand New Zealand’s natural world. These inspirational profiles are complemented with information about key animals, plants or habitats, and then each matched with an authentic activity that kids can do to make a difference.” (Catalogue)

A New Zealand nature journal / Morris, Sandra
“A New Zealand Nature Journal will teach you how to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries. Have you ever noticed that ladybirds have different numbers of spots? Or that leaves can be pointed or round, long or short, soft or hard? There is so much to explore in the natural world. And keeping a nature journal is the best way to record all your amazing discoveries.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen. From intimate portraits of endangered creatures and their glamorous breeding plumage, to dramatic wide-angle birdscapes encompassing rugged sub-antarctic habitats, to magical fleeting encounters of birds courting and mating and hatching, Chen’s passion for nature shines with artistic and aesthetic photographs sure to pique a greater appreciation of New Zealand birds. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The life-size guide to insects & other land vertebrates of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying New Zealand’s insects, spiders and other land invertebrates is made simple with this new guide. Over 300 life-size colour photographs make it fun for all the family to learn more about the natural world of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest can be fun for all the family with this new pictorial guide. Match leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and bark against beautiful, life-sized photographs for fast, accurate identification. Written by one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on native plants, The Life-Size Guide offers a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world of our native plants.” (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
“Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kids’ Club Review by Nardous: Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.

Me and my little sister loved it.She normally doesn’t like sitting down and reading a book because she’s so energetic but this one seems to be an exception.The illustrations are bright and colourful.I loved the message of this book which is your can’t always get it on your first time and working in a team iso great.

3 stars

Reviewed by Nardous from Brooklyn and South Wellington Intermediate , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Nardous: Wildlife of Aotearoa

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin

I learnt so much about the wildlife of New Zealand that I never knew before I read this book.I loved the illustrations they are accurate and beautiful. My favourite creature in this book is the blobfish because its ugly and eats whatever get in the way (we have alot in common).one of the most interesting fact I learnt from this book is that the first brown trout to hatch in New Zealand was in Christchurch in the 1860s.

5 stars

Reviewed by Nardous from Brooklyn and South Wellington Intermediate , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: Wildlife of Aotearoa

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin

As the title says, this book is about all the varieties of wildlife that live in Aotearoa. It covers native and introduced wildlife. This book is interesting, detailed, educational, and brilliantly illustrated. I think most children would enjoy this book and I give it 5 stars.

5 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Karori and Karori Normal School , 11 years old