Get involved and help us research the fauna in your backyard

Have you ever wanted to be involved in conservation work? This is your chance! We're inviting avid conservation scientists of all ages to join us and survey your backyard. 

All you have to do is go out and see what birds you can spot - we’ve even made a cheat sheet with 20 common birds to help you out ‘in the field’. It only takes 5 minutes, and the data that YOU collect can help identify species distribution, ecosystem health and much more.


You will need:

  1. A timer 
  2. A survey sheet (click here for ours or make your own)
  3. Auckland Zoo's Common NZ birds print out (optional)
  4. Camera (to take photos of any birds you dont recognise)

Step one: Choose a survey location. During lockdown this should be within walking distance of your house.

Step two: Before you start surveying, take note of some important details:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Survey location

Step three: Set your timer for 5 minutes and start your survey!

  1. How to survey:
    1. Make a note of any bird you see (or hear)
    2. Take a picture with your camera if you don't recognise it to identify later
    3. Note each type of bird you see or hear (no need to count all the sparrows, just note that you saw sparrows)

Step four: Share your results with us below. We can't wait to see what you saw!

Resources to help you

You can head to or to help you work out which birds you saw on your survey.

If you want to talk to one of our staff about a bird you found, if you need extra help identifying, or if you want to discuss this survey, email us at


Kōkako surveying

Get inspired by watching our dedicated keepers venture into the Waitākere Ranges to count the elusive kōkako, "the ghost of the forest".

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