What is Wellington’s native bird life like?
Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council have been working to understand what the populations of our native bird life is like in Wellington, and the results are promising!
Between 2011 and 2016 ‘five-minute bird counts’ were carried out at 100 bird count stations in forest habitat throughout Wellington City’s parks and reserves. A ‘five-minute bird count’ is a relatively easy way of monitoring and involves a person staying still for 5 minutes and recording all birds seen or heard.
The aim of these surveys is to monitor trends in the diversity, abundance and distribution of native forest birds throughout Wellington. It’s really useful for projects like Predator Free Wellington as it gives us a baseline from which we can measure the impact we’ll have when predator eradication is achieved.
The good news
The report is in and we are now recording a lot more tui, kaka and kakariki throughout Wellington and are also using citizen science platforms to help build a comprehensive picture of what our birds are doing.
These results suggest that the presence of Zealandia, and the increasing levels of predator control being carried out in parks, reserves and suburban areas throughout the city is working. This is improving opportunities for people to see and hear a wider range of New Zealand’s native forest bird species in Wellington.
Wellington residents are becoming increasingly engaged as ‘citizen scientists’, helping to build a detailed picture of changes in bird distribution in the city. If you’re keen on being a part of Predator Free Wellington, but can’t face trapping then getting involved by either simply recording sightings or by doing a 5 minute bird count is a great way to help. Plus, it’s a good activity to do with the kids!
Some good ones to get involved with are:
- The Great Kererū Count is NZ’s biggest citizen science project to help gather information on the abundance and distribution of the New Zealand pigeon — also known as kererū, kūkū or kūkupa. It runs from 22 September to 1 October, and simply involves submitting sightings to their website, an app or on Naturewatch. Visit
- At Nature Watch you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature watchers, and learn about the natural world as well as check out data and trends from what other people have submitted.
- You can also submit observations at eBird which provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution. eBird managed by Birds New Zealand, more formally known as The Ornithological Society of New Zealand Inc. You can download their app or submit on the website.
Posted: 13 September 2017