The bird count is jointly planned and organised by Waihora Ellesmere Trust, the Department of Conservation, Birds NZ and Christchurch City Council Rangers, with help from Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council and Keystone Ecology.
Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is internationally significant for birdlife abundance and diversity. A National Water Conservation Order recognises, as an outstanding value, the habitat for wildlife, particularly birds. The CCC 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 DOC and ECan. Expertise from Birds NZ members and others is vital to the success of the day.
This year over 51,807 birds were recorded around the lake – the results table can be viewed here. This total is up by approximately 9000 from last year. The table shows the birds counted in 2018 and, in columns to the right, the corresponding totals from 2013 – 2017.
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. For photos and information about each of the species visit the NZ Birds Online website.
Results from the last six years show changes in the numbers of the major bird groupings.