Birds New Zealand is embarking on the country’s largest ever citizen science project to map the distribution and abundance of our beautiful country’s birds.

Twenty years have passed since the last atlas project was completed, and we are at a crossroads, a time of unprecedented change, our bird life is in a desperate situation. A myriad of threats are pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Our endemic birds are being forced into the remote back country, or predator free offshore island nature reserves.

For the first time in the history of the Atlas project, in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the New Zealand Bird Atlas will be a digital first project with checklists being submitted directly into the eBird app or eBird website.

If you do not have a smartphone, or wish to write you sightings down in a notebook and then enter them from a PC, you can do that by going to and follow the instructions from there. You will need to keep a record of when you started your observations, how long you took to make them (important if you made the observations from a stationary point), and approximately how far you walked, if you did so. In all cases (using the app or entering your observations via a PC), you will need to create an eBird account the first time that you use eBird. This requires nothing more than your name,  a self-selected user name and password, and your email address (in case there is a need to contact you over any submitted sightings).