Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NZBRN newsletter

Our latest newsletter is now available. We are very excited to announce that we have secured one year's funding from TFBIS, part of the New Zealand Government, to begin a complete refresh of the NZBRN website, from its database foundations to a simpler, more user-friendly, and more flexible website. We describe our first steps in the newsletter, which most importantly involves getting feedback from you.

We would really like to hear about your priorities for the new NZBRN. What would you change? What treasured features would you retain? The newsletter contains a one-page survey asking for your feedback. You can also download an editable PDF of the survey form that you can fill in on your computer and email to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Issue 3, March 2011


  • What’s new at NZBRN

  • Tutorials are here

  • Creepy crawlies

  • A nature recorder for all New Zealanders

  • Where do you want to go?

  • Which praying mantis?

  • News from Westland

You can also read past newsletters here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tomorrow is world sparrow day!

No kidding. I thought it was a joke at first, but no. Go to www.worldsparrowday.org and you can learn all about it. It turns out that the ubiquitous and largely ignored house sparrow we have in New Zealand is a prized native bird of the UK. It is also a native bird in worrying decline in the UK and southern India.

So, perhaps for a day we New Zealanders should pay a little attention to the house sparrows all around us. They are fascinating birds in their own right and have been amazingly successful in urban and rural landscapes throughout the temperate world. That some landscapes are being altered to the extent that they are pushing such a successful bird into decline should be of concern to all of us.

Log in to NZBRN and show the world how many bazillion sparrows we still have down here. The UK can have as many as they want.

Distribution map of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in New Zealand.
View Larger Map | Enter your own observations
Source: New Zealand Biodiversity Recording Network.