Find information on more than 200 5MBC studies from all over New Zealand. Learn about the 5MBC database.

Metadata from 5MBC studies

Since the 1970s there have been hundreds of studies using the 5MBC method. 

We have collected together information about these studies (called metadata). We do not have the data itself for all these studies but you can see where and when 5MBC studies have taken place in New Zealand. 

5MBC studies - metadata (MS Excel, 2,400K)

DOC's 5MBC database

We developed a database to hold old five-minute bird count data. The database has over 500 studies amounting to over 120,000 counts. Below is a list of all the datasets that are currently in the database (as at June 2012).

Datasets in the 5MBC database (MS Excel, 184K)

Bird species data

The spreadsheet below shows which bird species were found in each study in the database. It also has the grid references for each study in the database (as at June 2012).

Bird species found in studies in the 5MBC database (MS Excel, 494K)

Getting raw data

To get raw data from the database email the 5MBC data administrator at


  • Some of the datasets have restrictions on their use. For most of these you can contact the data owner for permission to use the dataset. 
  • There are quality issues with some of the data in the database as we have not yet run a full data validation.
  • The database holds mostly data from old datasets.

We cannot accept new electronic datasets at this stage but are interested in historical datasets.

Maps of 5MBC studies

These maps show the locations of five-minute bird count studies. You can see which studies we have data for in the database.

North Island five-minute bird count studies (PDF, 1,122K)
South Island five-minute bird count studies (PDF, 1,478K)

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