Image: DOC


Do a garden bird survey and earn a Kiwi Guardians medal for becoming a Manu Monitor.

Your backyard is a great place to practice your skills at doing a garden bird survey.

The official New Zealand Garden Bird Survey will be held from 25 June – 3 July 2022. But there’s no time like the present to survey which birds are living in your garden.


Join the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey 25 June to 3 July 2022

As part of this activity, you can also join the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey.

Download this activity

Garden bird survey (PDF, 1758K)

What to do

Bird surveyor badge.

1. Explore your backyard

Find the perfect spot to do the survey. The best place is where you have a clear view of your garden and all its visitors. It should be close enough to see which species are there, but not too close that you scare them away.

Often, it's best to sit inside at a window, allowing the birds to relax and stay around.

For the more adventurous, you could construct a bird hide in your garden to give an unobstructed view of the birds.

2. Complete the garden bird survey

After you’ve found your perfect survey spot, it’s time to begin. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the Garden Bird Survey tally sheet, create your own.
  2. Choose a day that suits you to complete the survey.
  3. Get settled in your comfy seat in your survey spot.
  4. Look and listen for birds for one hour.
    Note: For younger children, you can break the hour into 10 or 15 minute sessions. They can make observations each day for a week, or several times in one day. 
  5. For each bird species you see, record the highest number seen at one time. For example, if you see three kererū then one kererū a few minutes later, your tally is three kererū. This is so you don’t accidentally count the same bird twice.
  6. Write this on your tally sheet when you see them.

3. Record your thoughts

Now that you've been outside and observed birds, write down your thoughts and feelings about your outdoors space.

Claim your Kiwi Guardians Toa Manu-Bird Surveyor medal

After you've completed the bird survey, you can claim your medal.

Tell us about the birds in your garden:

  • What bird species visited your garden the most?
  • Who stayed the longest?
  • What time of day did you do your survey?

Complete the claim form to tell us about your activity, and we'll send you a medal. Each Kiwi Guardians action has a different medal – see how many you can collect.

Share what you did

The team at Toyota Kiwi Guardians would love to hear about what you did. Send us an email, or share something online using #KiwiGuardians, so we can share it with others. Visit Kiwi Guardians on Facebook.

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