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Bird Count—27 October 2013

October 28, 2013

One of the objectives of our forest restoration project is to re-create a habitat for native New Zealand birds.  When CUE Haven was a farm, there was limited vegetation and most of the bird life was limited to species that lived in open pastures and scrub land.

By connecting up the bush remnants on the property and creating a growing forest, along with a predator control procedures, we have begun to create an environment where more species of birds can thrive.  In order to measure our progress, we have started to do semi-annual bird counts in the bush.

Suzi Phillips, an Auckland ornithologist, came out in April 2013 to do a benchmark count to determine a baseline bird population for future measuring.  She returned to CUE Haven today to do a follow up count.

Although Suzi initially studied Political Science and Journalism, she has done post graduate studies in Environmental Management and Ornithology.  Despite her very busy work as a journalist in communications at the University of Auckland, Suzi has made many contributions to conservation projects in the Kaipara area.  She has assisted with bird monitoring at the Atuanui Restoration Project  and at the Mataia Restoration project, across the road from CUE Haven.

We met Suzi last year at a Mataia community open day and she graciously offered to assist us with bird monitoring at CUE Haven.


To do the count, Suzi walked a transect line down the central gully of the property for about 500 metres and counted birds on 10 meters each size of the transect.  This provided an approximate number of birds per hectare in that area. At the start and finish of these, Suzie also did a 5 minute count, taking in birds from a 50m radius which helps to ensure we note all species.

This does not represent the bird numbers throughout the property due to variations in habitat and age of the tree plantings, but at this point in the project, we are especially concerned about diversity of species.

Next April, Suzi will increase the number of transect lines and monitor the bird diversity and count in other areas of the property. These same transects will be covered every spring and autumn, thereby giving a good record of the bird diversity and numbers over time.

We were very happy to find that the bird population is continuing to become larger and more diverse based on today’s count. Today, Suzi observed the following species:


Grey Warbler


Kereru (NZ Wood Pigeon)



Harrier Hawk







Brown Quail

California Quail


Song Thrush




Welcome Swallow

White-faced Heron




Our many thanks to Suzi for her much valued contribution to CUE Haven. We really appreciate her taking time from her busy schedule and giving up a weekend morning to do the bird monitoring. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you again in April 2014!!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Robert - Hootoksi Tyabji permalink
    October 28, 2013 11:16 pm

    Hi Mahrukh and Tom, Thanks for forwarding the post on birds at Cue Haven. I’ve taken the liberty of sharing it with Rod Warnock who is a well-known bird photographer/ornithologist in Oz. Hope you won’t mind… Robert

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