Birds are one of the most noticeable forms of native biodiversity in the New Zealand farming landscape. Who doesn't love working to the soundtrack of tui singing in the morning?
Unfortunately, having evolved on an island that was covered in forest and where land mammals were limited to only bats, our native birds are having a hard time surviving in the midst of people. Deforestation and the introduction of mammalian predators has seen, and continues to see, populations of our taonga birds plummet across the country.
The patches of native bush and scrub so often found on sheep and beef farms can play a vital role in providing homes and food for Aotearoa's birds. We wanted to know which bird species used which habitats across our study farms, so we undertook bird counts in the summers of 2017/2018 and 2018/2019. We used five minute bird count methods adapted from those used by the Department of Conservation. The statistical analysis is still underway, but we can show you which bird species we found on our three farms . . .