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City Belt Bird Count

The number of birds seen and heard in the Dunedin city belt reached 999, after a concentrated count over the weekend.

On Sunday, university students from the Animal, Aquatic, Plant Ecology Society joined members of Birds New Zealand to record the birds seen and heard at 10 bird count stations that make up the Bird Count Trail in the belt of the town.

Each count lasts five minutes and all birds seen and heard during this time are recorded and submitted via a phone app accessed by the QR code on the signage.

Sunday’s count brought the total number of birds counted since the project began in April to 999.

The permanent Town Belt Bird Count Trail is a citizen science project set up by Birds New Zealand and City Sanctuary for continuous long-term monitoring of birds.

Birds New Zealand regional representative Mary Thompson said it was “great to have university students involved in this project – the more counters the better”.

Counts can be made by any member of the public at any station, at any time.

All counts submitted to the website will be combined to find trends in bird numbers, and this information will help track progress in controlling urban predators and restoring habitat.