Download templates for collecting and entering data. Find out about field-based training and other ways to learn more.
Forms for recording bird counts
Use either of these forms for recording bird counts. They include descriptions of the data that needs to be collected such as sun, cloud etc. If you use these forms you will collect data in the same format as other 5MBC studies and as recommended in Dawson and Bull (1975).
Data entry spreadsheet
Once you have finished your bird count, enter the results into the data entry spreadsheet (MS Excel, 300K).
The spreadsheet has five tabs. If you fill in the first few tabs systematically you will find the cells in the fourth tab will be automatically filled in as you enter the data.
The spreadsheet contains a background list of bird species.
We recommend you use this list so your study can be easily compared with other five-minute bird count studies and easily entered into the DOC 5MBC database in the future.
Practical training in Five-minute bird counts
Counting birds in New Zealand forests
D. G. Dawson and P. C. Bull, 1975:
Notornis Volume 22 Part 2 101 to 109 on Notornis website
Note: This large file may be slow to open
A description of the standard five-minute bird count method.
Monitoring the impacts of vertebrate pest control operations in non-target wildlife species
E. B. Spurr and R. G. Powlesland, 2000: Department of Conservation Technical Series 24. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Monitoring the impacts of vertebrate pest control operations in non-target wildlife species (PDF, 191K)
A discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of various ways of monitoring birds, including five-minute bird counts.
Native forest monitoring: A guide for forest owners and managers
Peter Handford, 2000: Forme Consulting Group Ltd, Tawa, Wellington.
An easy to read book describing the range of monitoring techniques suitable for use in native forest. This book is particularly suited for small groups doing ecological restoration projects.
Changes in bird conspicuousness at Pureora Forest
Adam N. H. Smith and Ian M. Westbrooke, 2004:
Notornis Volume 51 Part 1 21 to 25 on Notornis website
Comparison of 5MBCs in Pureora Forest Park. Results suggest a dramatic decline over time, irrespective of pest control.
Monitoring vertebrate populations
W. L. Thompson, G. C. White and C. Gowan, 1998. Academic Press, London.
An in-depth description of the theory underpinning monitoring techniques.