How to use the 5 minute bird survey forms and Excel forms.

The 5 minute survey data is an excellent outcome focus to provide simple information around how successful or otherwise pest control programmes are over long periods of time. They provide a positive activity for communities (rather than just killing things). As well as monitoring they provide much debate and discussion and have excellent learning outcomes for your community.

Set up some 5 minute bird count sites with a focus on recording some key species that are easy to identify and that are sensitive to pests. Tui are excellent. Also kereru & bellbirds. Fantails are not so sensitive to pest levels but are easy to identify and record as well.

With the sites choose a location where there is a reasonably close view into trees that is not going to become crowded out with any revegetation growth from new plantings.

Recording of other species is an education bonus as the first priority is to have no barriers for entry for people to take part.

Once you are back home enter your hand recorded results onto the XL master spreadsheet and keep a back up copy. After you have more than 1 set of results then manually enter the new results onto the summary XL recording sheet and graph your results for key indicator species. This can be done for example by using a line graph and include a trend line. With limiting to just key indicator species then there is very little data to transfer each time.

Over time this data provides excellent feedback that is easy to interpret with the graphed results by all members of the community and funding agencies. While it is preferable to have regular bird surveys it is not critical. The graph dating format allows for this. At Whakaupoko Landcare we use 3 surveys /year choosing the 3 school holiday periods outside the Christmas break. Landcare Research run a biannual bird survey in Hamilton as part of the Halo project.

This is a living document that we are keen to see used in a wide range of environments. We welcome your feedback on how the enclosed and the Excel worksheets can be improved. We want to achieve a form of monitoring that is simple, easy to understand by all, no barriers to entry and that has wide application across all areas of biodiversity that incorporate native birds.

Roelf Schreuder            Mob 021 366 402

Andrew Sinclair     Mob 021 268 1904