On Saturday 09 February 2013 David Allan, Curator of Ornithology, Durban Natural Science Museum and a member and very generous supporter of our club, will be presenting a half-day course on ‘Geographical variation, or subspecies, of southern African birds – the wonders of variation within our bird species’.

The John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, the publishers of ‘Roberts Birds of Southern Africa’, has just published a new book in the Roberts ‘stable’ entitled: ‘Roberts Geographical Variation of Southern Africa Birds – A Guide to the Plumage Variation of 612 Bird Races in Southern Africa’, authored by Hugh Chittenden, David Allan and Ingrid Weiersbye. The value, and indeed reality, of subspecies in ornithology has long been debated. Having slipped decidedly from view for several decades, subspecies are now again coming to the fore. The launch of this book, a world first in its field, provides a timely opportunity to re-examine in detail the amazing variation to be found within southern African bird species across their wide ranges. Much of this variation has gone unappreciated by recent generations of birders, who deserve to become re-acquainted with these often striking and puzzling patterns. In addition, knowledge of subspecific differences can be critical in bird identification – as we shall see!

Copies of the book, signed by all three authors, will be available at the course priced well below the recommended retail price

Venue : Durban Natural Science Museum Research Centre

Directions : 151 KE Masinga Road (Old Fort Road), cor Wyatt Road. Safe parking inside off Wyatt Road.

Time: 13h30 – registration.

14h00 – course begins

16h00 – course ends

Entrance fee : R20 per person to cover refreshments and overheads.

Dave will have some of his bird skins out for us to see during the course, and at tea time.

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be available at 14h45 when we break, have a chance to look more closely at the skins, and engage with Dave on the subject matter, before returning at 15h15 for the final session.

Don’t miss this great opportunity.

Bookings are essential:

Saturday 09 February 2013

Bookings : Lesley Frescura or Merle Paton

083 231 3408 or  082 4627262


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