Native bird numbers soar in the South

This story by John Lewis originally appeared in the Otago Daily Times.

Ornithologists and bird lovers are aflutter after learning kererū, fantail and tui populations have exploded in the southern regions over the past decade.

Survey founder Dr Eric Spurr said results from the 2022 New Zealand Garden Birds Survey showed there had been “positive trends” for the native species between 2012 and 2022.

Kereru counts had increased by 83% nationally (32% in Otago and 110% in Southland), fantail counts had increased by 55% nationally (146% in Otago and 101% in Southland), and tui counts had increased by 30% nationally (44% in Otago and 34% in Southland), he said.

“Bellbird counts have shown little or no change nationally or in Otago and Southland.

“Although silvereye counts have been declining by 12% nationally over the last 10 years, they have shown little or no change nationally over the last five years.

“However, in Otago they have declined by 32% and in Southland they dropped by 17%.”

Despite the drops, Dr Spurr said the silvereye (waxeye or tauhou) was still the second-most common bird in southern gardens.

Read the full article here

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