The town of Barberton and surrounds contains many differing habitats, which makes for a varied and interesting number of bird species
for the bird-watcher to identify and see.
It has the urban gardens with their exotic and indigenous plants, the open grass area of the golf course and parks, the mountainlands with the highland grassveld and rocky outcrops and the well-wooded kloofs. There are also the fields of crops, plantations and pockets of indigenous forest.
In September 2000 two knowledgeable resident birders led ± 20 interested members of the community in a years survey of the birds occurring in the municipal area of Barberton (Emjindini). The area was divided into five distinct areas not only to make the monitoring easier but to also prove that species occurring in one area do not necessarily occur in the adjoining one, showing that the habitat and vegetation changes from area to area affects the birdlife.
Consisted mostly of well-established residential stands, but also included the hills to the Northeast of the town.
Rimer's Creek, which is an area of riverine forest, was also included in this area.
172 species were recorded in this area.
The sewage dams and the town cemetery as well as a large section of grassland fall into this area.
213 species were recorded here.
Area 3 This area encompassed the industrial site, the airport as well as Emjindini, the former black township.
94 species were seen in this part.
Area 4 A well-wooded residential area with hills forming the southern boundary. As with area one the old established trees in the gardens attracted a wealth of birds.
120 species were recorded here.
Area 5 Contains the golf course and the Barberton Environmental Education Centre.
113 species seen here during the survey period.
At the end of the 1-year survey period a checklist booklet was produced.
The whole survey produced some 250 different species of birds recorded and about 30 species have been added since the survey period.