Ornithology Department


Biodiversity Symposium in Kimberley

11 January 2017


Dawie de Swardt (Ornithology Department) and Jan Andries Neethling (Arachnology Department) attended the 13th Kimberley Biodiversity Research Symposium at the Mcgregor Museum in Kimberley.  This symposium is presented annually by the McGregor Museum, Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation, SANParks (Kimberley) and the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON).  Dawie gave a presentation on his research on African Rock Pipits:  African Rock Pipits from work done at Tswalu kalahari Reserve and Grobleshoop area.  

Dawie de Swardt (back, second from left) and Jan Andries Neethling in front of him with delegates at the symposium.

Researcher visits Ornithology Department

11 January 2017

Dawie de Swardt (left), Head of the Ornithology Department, and Darren Pietersen (University of Pretoria) who visited the department to study the pipit skin collection as part of his PhD research. 


Bird ringing expedition in Lydenburg

11 January 2017

In February Dawie de Swardt  undertook a bird-ringing trip to Lydenburg as part of his annual visit to the study site of the Gurney Sugarbird project.  This year he was joined by a group of bird ringers from BirdLife Northern Gauteng, Pretoria, who were interested in the project.  They assisted in capturing and ringing sugarbirds and other species and obtaining recapture data.  During this visit 19 sugarbirds were captured and blood and feather samples taken.  Bird ringing was also carried out in the nearby Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve outside Lydenburg where more than 200 birds were captured.  Dawie also presented a talk and a bird-ringing demonstration to members of the Escarpment Bird Club at Paardeplaats, Lydenburg.  His presentation, Gurney's Sugarbirds in the Lydenburg area – three decades of dedicated research,gave an overview of this long term project.  

Training opportunities

14 December 2016

Mmatjie Mashao, technical assistant in ornithology at the Durban Natural Science Museum, visited the Museum during November 2016 to be trained by Dawie de Swardt (ornithologist) and Lots Morapedi (preparator) in preparing study skins as well as curation techniques for the storage of study skin, skeleton and tissue sample collections.