Intaka Island has had a full week of birding activities leading up to Birding Big Day, which is when everyone is asked to count the number of birds in your garden, neighbourhood or an area of your choice, over a 24hour period.

The Intaka Island initiative is being held by The Animal Demography Unit, in conjunction with My Bird Patch and this is what you can look forward to this week:

A mini Bird Expo presented by different birding clubs from across Cape Town
Guided bird tours from 10 AM – 3 PM conducted by the Intaka Island rangers
The Animal Demography Unit, in conjunction with BirdLife South Africa, will conduct focused educational programs every morning (e.g. bird ringing)
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening there will be sunset talks in the Eco-Centre from 18h00:
Monday: Doug Harebottle – MyBirdPatch project
Wednesday: Clifford Dorse – Conservation of Cape Town Biodiversity
Friday: Trevor Hardaker – Chasing the Western Cape’s Biodiversity
Intaka Island will be open from 05h00 every morning and we are encouraging all birders and nature lovers to take part and see how many birds they can ‘tick’ in a day.

I went along this morning to see what was happening and found the Tygerber Bird Club, busy setting up nets, and catching birds. The birds weight, length of wing and tail and details of whether the bird was adult, male or female and whether it was in molt or not.

It was fascinating watching how gentle the members of the bird club were when handling the birds. While I was there they had managed to capture and ring some White Eyes, Cape Robins, Yellow Weavers, and Reed Warblers. A while later one of the Intaka Rangers arrived with a box saying he had a juvenile Malachite Kingfisher, (Afrikaans name, (Klein Kuifkopvisvsnger) which had flown into the offices at the centre. He asked if the club would please ring the bird.

This was a first for me as I had never seen a juvenile Malachite Kingfisher previously, nor seen the ringing of birds, it was a fascinating morning. Thankfully I was able to get a few pics of him. Hope you enjoy.

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