Aug 27, 2016 Saturday

Basics of birding and bird ringing

6:00a.m. to 11:00a.m.
Darville Sewerage Works
Darville Sewerage Works, New England Road
Pietermaritzburg ZA

South Africa has a variety of habitats which creates an amazing diversity of birds with more than 800 species. There are also about 150 species that are endemic, meaning they are found no where else in the world. Because of this birding is a popular hobby and many people become very serious about it. For a beginner birder it can be overwhelming. In this class we will start with the basics of birding. You will also be exposed to the world of bird ringing and be able to see birds up close. Class objectives: - Learn how to use a bird book effectively - Learn how to use binoculars - Be able to narrow down a bird for identification - Learn about bird ringing Please bring pencils and paper for notes. Binoculars and bird field guides (if possible, and if not we can provide some for the class). People need to be field prepared so things like appropriate field clothes and shoes (gumboots are ideal), a hat, water, a snack (to share if you like), etc. This class will be offered in English only. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CLASS IS WEATHER-DEPENDENT! Should there be constant rain on the day, the class will be rescheduled for September.

Bring one of the following:
Cardboard loo roll or paper towel centre (or even fabric roll centres)
empty egg boxes (any sizes)
Old blankets/underfelt
Old fishtank/aquarium equipment (e.g. filters, heaters, pumps, pipes, rocks)
Perches for aviaries
River stones and drift wood
Yoghurt/ice-cream containers

About the teacher, Preshnee Singh and Ebrahim Ally

We represent the School of Life Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus. We work with many different types of animals on various research projects. We teach and train our students with the necessary skills to do better research in biology. Some of these skills include animal handling, trapping, identification, research planning, data analysis, etc. We train our students working with birds on bird handling, identification and ringing. Ebrahim Ally is the Animal House technician on campus and his facility is where we house and do experiments on animals. Preshnee Singh is currently working as Prof Downs research assistant and is involved with various research projects. Karin Nelson helps us do bird ringing at Darvilleonce a month and is an experienced bird ringer. She also trains our students who are interested in getting their bird ringing licences and has been involved in a few of our research projects with birds.