15 Jul 2012

Sparrow remains top garden bird

11:11 am on 15 July 2012

The house sparrow is still the most commonly spotted bird in New Zealand gardens according to initial results from an annual survey.

The Garden Bird Survey aims to record and highlight any major population shifts in native and introduced birds.

In this year's survey, more than 3000 responses have been received so far. Organisers hope to receive another 1000 forms from people who noted he bird species in their gardens from 30 June to 8 July.

In the preliminary results, an average of just over 12 house sparrows were spotted in gardens during the week - only slightly lower than last year's figure.

The silvereye was the second most seen bird, with nearly 10 per garden, a significant increase on 2011 possibly due to early winter weather forcing them out of the forest and into gardens in search of food.

The remainder of the top ten are blackbird, starling, tui, common myna, chaffinch, fantail, greenfinch, and dunnock.