The tūī count increased by 20 per cent. Photo Peter Rees

Waiheke’s avian inhabitants are flourishing, as reflected by both their sonorous dawn chorus and the results of Te Korowai o Waiheke’s second annual bird count. 

The number of birds counted in November 2021 had increased by 32 per cent since the previous count in November 2020, with the most significant increase seen in the number of kākā, followed by pīwakawaka and tūī.

Of the endemic species counted, tūī appear to be most prevalent, with 479 spotted in 2020 and 580 in 2021. 

Kākā numbers rose dramatically according to the bird count, with the 15 spotted in 2020 rising to 64 in 2021. 

Overall the number of birds counted on the island in November last year compared to 2020 was up by just over 1000 at 4133, compared to the previous year when 3116 birds were counted.

The number of endemic, native and exotic birds counted all increased from 2020 to 2021. 

In both of the annual counts, most birds fell into the exotic category: in 2020, 1423 exotic species were counted, compared to 2217 in 2021. • Sophie Boladeras

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