BLSA National Owl Awards

BirdLife eThekwini KZN members scoop awards!

BirdLife South Africa’s 2021 Owl Awards

Following the recent fantastic news that our Honorary President, David Allan was awarded the 2021 Gill Memorial Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Ornithology in southern Africa at BirdLife South Africa’s 92nd AGM, the news of three club members receiving BLSA National Owl Awards at last nights event really added to club morale.

Owl Awards 2021

Many people and organisations are contributing to the conservation of South Africa’s birds, some working closely with BirdLife South Africa. Their admirable efforts are recognised annually during BirdLife South Africa’s Owl Awards where 12 awards are presented to deserving recipients broken up into nine Owl, one Owlet and two Eagle Owl awards. The recipients receive a bronze Barn Owl mounted on crystal glass and a framed certificate. The statuettes are kindly sponsored by Charles Greig Jewellers. Last night in an online event the announcement of the winners and presentations was made by BirdLife South Africa’s CEO, Mark D. Anderson, and Chairman, Philip Calinikos. The citations for each winner were read by the well known radio personality Andy Rice. BirdLife South Africa is to be complimented on such a slick and well organised awards evening which was a happy celebration.

BE KZN is proud that three of its members were awarded Owl Awards last night in recognition of their contributions to birds and birding namely, Crystelle Wilson, Sithembiso Blessing Majoka and Nicolette Forbes.

Crystelle Wilson

Crystelle has been a member of BirdLife eThekwini KZN since it was the Natal Bird Club, is now residing in Howick and is also a member of BirdLife KZN Midlands. She has served on the committee, set up the calendar as a fundraiser for the club and has worked tirelessly as the editor of KZN Birds, the regional digital magazine since 2009 Club members eagerly look forward to each issue of the magazine, whose content is wide-ranging and covers conservation, various projects, bird observations, rarity reports and club news and activities, as well as notices and advertisements..

Read Crystelle’s Citation here

Sithembiso Blessing Majoka

Sithembiso although having been interested in all things natural for most of his career is a newer member of the club and brings to the club wonderful enthusiasm, perspectives and mentoring passion.   His wonderful photographs of birds profile these ambassadors for conservation making sure people pay attention.

He was nominated in recognition of his humble, but determined approach which serves to profile birds and their well-being. Quite simply he gives more than he receives.

Read Sithembiso’s citation here

Nicolette Forbes

Nicolette has been a member of the club since 1985 and was appointed as Chair in late 2018 when she moved from Secretary to Acting Chair at the urging of Lesley Frescura. She is passionate about birds and habitat improvement and as a scientist brings an analytical perspective to many of the club’s activities.

She has, as she does with everything, leapt into the club’s administration with the same passion and commitment that she gives to everything she does, being sure to do everything she can at a level of 150%

Read Nicolette’s citation here

BirdLife eThekwini KZN would like to Congratulate BirdLife South Africa on a super event, and a happy occasion which was slick, professional and hit just the right notes.

We also wish to congratulate all the other Award winners which are listed below. It was humbling to hear how much so many people are doing and it also painted a picture of how everyone doing something can add up to a whole lot of good.  Strength to all of you.

Owl Awards
Saul Sithole (posthumous)
Dr Christ Lotz Birding Ecotours
Dullstroom Trout Farm
Gavin Peterson
Peter Ginn
Clive Vivier
Eagle-Owl Awards
Geoff Lockwood
Mabula Ground Hornbill Project
Owlet Award
Justin Ponder/Mark Heystek

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