2017 Te Waihora bird count

Royal Spoonbill flock, Steve Atwood photo

Royal Spoonbill flock, Steve Atwood photo

On February 11, 2017 over 50 volunteers and staff from a number of agencies undertook the annual census of wetland birds around Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.

The event was jointly planned and organised by Waihora Ellesmere Trust, the Department of Conservation, Birds NZ, Christchurch City Council Rangers, Environment Canterbury and Keystone Ecology.

On the day the Christchurch City Council Rangers count birds along Kaitorete and around Kaituna lagoon. The remaining areas of lake shore, from the Halswell River around to Taumutu, are covered by teams of volunteers and staff from the Department of Conservation and Environment Canterbury. And expertise from Birds NZ members and others is vital to the success of the day.

This year over 42,800 birds were recorded around the lake – the results table can be found here.

The birds are grouped into Shags, Herons, Waterfowl, NZ Waders, Arctic Waders, and Gulls & Terns. The total number of each group of bird species is highlighted in a different colour.

If you would like further information on each species visit the NZ Birds Online Website.

Te Waihora is internationally significant for birdlife abundance and diversity. A National Water Conservation Order recognises its outstanding value as a habitat for wildlife, particularly birds.

More information on the bird count can be found here.