Over the past month, 10 students from KZN have been studying really hard on a bird specialist course. The course is endorsed by FGASA and skill, dedication and hard work are needed to get the desired results. Congratulations to Lethukuthula Nxele, Bongiwe Nxumalo and Simphiwe Gumede, who have made the grade. Although further assessments are still to be done next year before they get the regional birding certificate from FGASA, they are on the right road.

Over the past month, 10 students from KZN have been studying really hard on a bird specialist course. The course is endorsed by FGASA and a great deal of skill, dedication and hard work is needed to get the desired results. The students are required to complete a comprehensive workbook as well as achieve at least 75% on the bird calls and slide ID for the savanna biome (in this case). Other biome modules are also offered. The savanna bird list comprises 170 species and the exam tests the students on any 80 of these species.

Congratulations to Lethukuthula Nxele, Bongiwe Nxumalo and Simphiwe Gumede, who have made the grade. Although further assessments are still to be done next year before they can get the regional birding certificate from FGASA, they are on the right road.

Further assessments will include a guided activity, where the students will take guests into the field and show them as many birds as possible, aiming to get at least 100 species, and will give them information about the birds seen. They will then complete the slide and sound assessment for the core list, which includes all South African endemics as well as the more commonly encountered birds around the country – a total of 275 species. The students must also complete an open-book slide quiz. All the quizzes can include adult or juvenile plumage and nests and eggs, so aspiring bird guides need to be on top of their game to achieve their goal.