Image: DOC


Be a part of the annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey, so we can learn more about our feathered friends. Earn a Kiwi Guardians medal for becoming a Manu Monitor.

Did you know?

  • The kererū is the only native bird large enough to eat the big fruit of some of our important native trees like karaka, miro, tawa, and pūriri, which means they are vital for our forests. 
  • Many of the bird species you see around you have been introduced from different countries, including some from the other side of the world such as the sparrow and starling.
  • Tūī have two voice boxes, which allow them to perform a wide range of noises – some have even been taught human speech.

Bird surveyor badge.

Explore your backyard

Start searching for the perfect spot to sit while you take part in the survey. The best location will be a place where you have a clear view of your garden and all its visitors, close enough to see which species are there, but not too close that you scare them away.

Often, it is best to sit inside at a window, allowing the birds to relax and stay around. Another option for the more adventurous is to construct a bird hide in your garden – allowing you an unobstructed view of the birds.

Complete the garden bird survey

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey runs from 30 June to 8 July 2018. 

Now that you’ve explored your backyard/local green space and found your perfect survey spot, it’s time to begin. Just follow the instructions below:

  1. Choose one day that suits you to complete the survey.
  2. Get settled in your comfy seat in your survey spot.
  3. Look and listen for birds for one hour.
  4. For each bird species you see, record the highest number seen at one time.
  5. Record your findings when you see them – print this tally sheet (PDF, 892K) to make things easier.
  6. Once your hour is completed, enter your findings online so they can be seen by the scientists.
  7. Have a look at the 'How to take part' video.

Note: If you’re completing this medal outside of the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey timeframe, you can still complete the activity and collect your Kiwi Guardians medal by telling us what you saw.

Build your own window protector

Each year, hundreds of native birds die or suffer injuries after flying into windows. This often occurs when birds are startled while feeding or resting. They can get confused by the reflection from windows and think there is a clear line of flight through your windows.

As a Kiwi Guardian, you can help prevent this by designing your own window protector. A simple object that can be placed on your windows to deter bird from flying close to them. Successful designs are often reflective, shiny, or noisy – for example, an old CD hanging from a piece of string is often all that is needed.

Do some research online and create your own window protector – then let us know what you ended up making and if it is working.

Claim your Kiwi Guardians medal

Tell us how many different species you managed to count in your garden and about the window protector you made, and we’ll send you a Kiwi Guardians Toa Manu medal.

  • What species visited your garden the most?
  • Who stayed the longest?
  • What time of day did you do your survey?
  • Is your window protector working? 

Click on the yellow button at the top of the page to claim your Kiwi Guardians medal.

Each Kiwi Guardians action has a different medal – see how many you can collect.

If you share something online use #KiwiGuardians so we can see what you’ve done and share it with others!

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