Cape Bird Club
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YOUTH EDUCATION & EVENTS

Sharing our love of birds and birding with young people.

The Cape Bird Club is committed to sharing the love of birds and birding with young people. We hope they will be inspired as they become more aware of nature and the environment.

Birding Buzz

Birding Buzz is a four page monthly pamphlet / newsletter distributed by email and is aimed at learners aged 8 to 14 or 15 years old. Each issue has an article focussing on a different bird that children in the South Western Cape might encounter. The remaining pages will contain short articles and pointers encouraging children to develop their birding knowledge and skills, and to share some of their own photographs and birding experiences. There is also always a practical activity and/ or competition. Any parents or teachers with children interested in the outdoors and birds are welcome to send their contact email addresses to chairman@capebirdclub.org.za This is a free offering from the Cape Bird Club.

Primary School

In this regard we run an education program at no fee primary schools in the Strandfontein and Steenberg areas. Although the focus is on birds the aim is to instill a broader appreciation of nature and the environment.

The program is based on experiential learning with a series of workshops and outings run throughout the year by the Cape Bird Club and with an Educator present at these sessions. We also partner with other NGOs such as Ingcuncgu where there is synergy. Our program at Floreat has been running since 2018 and this year we have started a program at Hillwood. We plan to expand the program as we establish partnerships with other interested schools.

High School

For high school learners, we are planning an outing   every term  to a range of local birding areas (such as Strandfontein, Rondevlei and Intaka).These will take place on the weekends and during the holidays. Although we hope to develop close relationships with specific schools, where students have already shown an interest in birding, we would like to include students from many schools on the peninsula. We hope some will eventually join the Cape Bird Club. (Please note that membership to children under 18 is free.) We hope to be able to assist with transport to the outings and will arrange other activities, such as birding quizzes. If you wish to find out more, please email education@capebirdclub.org.za.

SEE BELOW FOR REPORTS OF SOME PAST OUTINGS

Youth – Frogging at Kenilworth Race Course – 18 August 2022.

A gathering of young members of the Cape Bird Club participated in a frogging outing at the Kenilworth Race Course on the 18th August. The outing was kindly hosted by Conservation Officers at the Racecourse, Fayruz and Jarred, who were ably assisted by Cliff and Suretha Dorse who were a combined super-Amphibian team. The outing yielded an incredible 6 species of frogs, all of which are endemic to the Western Cape and one of them (Flat Caco) being endemic to the peninsula. The most endangered of the frogs are the Micro Frogs that were seen, whilst the most popular may … Continued

Youth – Outing to SANCCOB and Rietvlei – 05 July 2022.

This day was a heavily anticipated outing. I love learning about the seabirds of South Africa. When we arrived at SANCCOB, we were immediately welcomed by Zach. Although he is only 11 he was as keen as mustard to go birding. A few minutes later, another junior birder, Alexi, arrived. But more about Alexi later. Brittany was our guide for the tour of SANCCOB. I could tell that she had been doing this for a bit and was born a birder as she really kept me interested throughout the tour. She first told us about the permanent and long-term residents. … Continued

Youth – Floreat Primary School – Outing fun in the sun at Silvermine, 10 June 2022.

Nearly 40 learners from Floreat Primary were treated to a day of relaxation and appreciating natural beauty on Friday the 10 June 2022, when the Cape Bird Club youth educators and volunteers accompanied them on a nature hike in Silvermine Nature Reserve. Armed with binoculars and challenged to find endemic Cape fynbos nectarivores such as Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds, the learners took the trail leading from the second gate into the park off Ou Kaapse Weg to the top of the Silvermine Waterfall, where they were encouraged to relax and meditate and take in the beauty of their surroundings. … Continued

Youth – Floreat Primary School outing to Boulders Beach – 12 March 2022.

The Cape Bird Club’s 2022 Youth Education Programme kicked off the school year with an exciting opportunity for learners from Floreat Primary to get up close and personal with one of southern Africa’s most unique, charismatic and endangered birds. On the 12th of March 2022, the Grade 5-7 learners and Cape Bird Club educators and volunteers embarked on an outing to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, allowing the learners, equipped with binoculars, the chance to observe African Penguins in their natural habitat. This was a first-time experience for many of the learners, and they were entranced by the antics … Continued

Youth – Claremont High School Outing to Strandfontein – 12 March 2021.

The Claremont High Bird Club had its first outing of the year at Strandfontein Birding Area (SBA) on Saturday 12th March. We met at the school a 9 a.m. CBC members helped drive the nine students (including eight from CHS and Zoë Lunau-Johns from Waldorf) to SBA. I was very grateful to have the help of Otto and Sandy Schmidt, Alison Gilbert, Joel Radue and Priscilla Beeton, all of whom have helped with previous CHS outings. Once there, we competed in four teams to see who could see the most species in the two hours available. Most teams headed straight … Continued

Youth – Claremont High School Outing to Kirstenbosch – 06 December 2021.

We were wanting to have a final outing for the Claremont High Bird Club, and a trip to Kirstenbosch was arranged for Monday the 6th December. They had finished their exams on the Friday before that, so it was an ideal way to relax after a busy term. Although the sign-up of nine students was lower than we had hoped, they included a core of very keen, new birders. I was very grateful to have the help of Priscilla Beeton, Alison Gilbert, Pat Thompson and Sue Lindsey as group leaders. The weather was very overcast, with drizzle, as we gathered … Continued

Youth – Floreat Primary School Workshop and outing to Kirstenbosch – 25 Nov & 10 Dec 2021.

The Cape Bird Club’s 2021 Youth Education Programme rounded off the year with two exciting events for Floreat Primary School, which allowed Grade 5-7 learners to experience birds up close and in their ecological context. The Birding Basics workshop, held on the 25th of November 2021, gave Grade 5-7 learners from the school’s Environmental Club the chance to explore the various unique traits of birds in a hands-on and immersive way, providing them with a practical demonstration of the function of these traits and their usefulness to birds. At the “Feathers” tables, learners pored over examples of the three different … Continued

Youth – Aristea Primary School Bird Quiz – 25th November 2021.

This article was published in Die Tygerburger on 25 November 2021. The following CBC members participated - Barry Cohen and his two sons, Sam (11) and Tim (7), Alexi Zannos (13), Zoe Lunau-Johns (15) Gillian Barnes, Penny Dichmont and Priscilla Beeton. There were two different quizzes running concurrently - for beginners and for more experienced birders. Some of the questions were very challenging and involved miming and singing to the group to enable them to guess the bird. It was very different to Mike's quizzes and great fun. We thank Erna de Wit, teacher at Aristea Primary, for going the … Continued

Youth – Junior Club Outing to Rondevlei – 18th October 2021.

On Saturday the 16th October, the Cape Bird Club organised an outing to Rondevlei for younger members. We met at 9 a.m. at the tearoom and spent the next two hours birding at this wonderful getaway in the middle of the city, whilst trying to dodge frequent showers and the occasional downpour. The weather did not dampen our spirits, and a total of 54 species was recorded. A colourful start was a brief sighting of a Malachite Kingfisher and three African Swamphens from the tearoom. A White-throated Swallow offered photographers a lovely shot, perched on a dead branch in the … Continued

Youth – Junior Club Outing to Kirstenbosch – 18th September 2021.

Junior Outing to Kirstenbosch. 18th September 2021. An outing for junior members of the Cape Bird Club was held at Kirstenbosch on Saturday 18th September – the first for several years. It was attended by Zoe Lunau-Johns (14 years, in Grade 8) and three boys who have joined the club this year: Michael Whitelaw (Grade 7), Alexi Zannos (Grade 6) and Ethan Vleggaar (9 years in Grade 4). Ethan’s dad, Martin, joined us, as well as two members of the CBC, Priscilla Beeton and Linda Merrett. The young birders were very keen and arrived with an array of checklists, apps … Continued

Youth – Claremont High School Bird Club, meeting – 03 September 2021.

Claremont High School Bird Club Meeting. Following the enthusiastic response to our outing to Rondevlei on the 16th June, we were keen to organise another outing soon. We planned a meeting for Friday 3rd September, only to find that heavy rain was expected then. However, we decided to go ahead with that date, having already changed our plans because of high infection rates. We settled for a meeting in the school library, with a focus on using field guides and BirdLasser. If weather permitted, we hoped to have a short walk at Arderne Gardens nearby. Eighteen students, from Grade 8 … Continued

CBC 2021 Youth Education Programme kicks off with close encounters for Cape Town learners

Learners from Hillwood Primary and Floreat Primary were treated to a visit from some very special guests on Friday 11 June when they attended an educational talk by Spier’s Eagle Encounters programme in the Hillwood school hall, organised in part by the Cape Bird Club. The learners, who were mostly Grade 5, 6 and 7, had the opportunity to observe rare raptor species and learn about their physiology, diet, behaviour and conservation, while getting a unique up-close-and-personal experience of the birds themselves and a taste of the work that falconers and wildlife rehabilitators do on a daily basis. The four … Continued

Claremont High School Outing to Rondevlei on 16th June 2021

Students from Claremont High had their first bird outing since February 2020 on 16th June. The school bird club has recently been restarted and an enthusiastic group of 18 students met at the school soon after 9 a.m. From there, we travelled to Rondevlei Nature Reserve, a wetland area in Grassy Park. We were lucky with the weather which was cloudy, but pleasant, despite the rain forecast during the week. The students broke into five groups, each with one or more members of the Cape Bird Club. After a brief welcome and introduction, they set off in high spirits, each … Continued

Youth – Birding Quiz at the Aristea Primary School, Kraaifontein – 15 May 2021.

Aristea Primary School Birding Quiz. On Saturday 15th May, in pouring rain, seven Cape Bird Club members drove to Kraaifontein to take part in the Aristea Primary School Birding Quiz. We were placed in different groups by Erna de Wit, the teacher who organized the event – just 3 or 4 around each table, so that we were able to maintain social distancing – and all Covid protocols were followed. What an event it was! Participants were welcomed to the event by the school band, most members of which played very unconventional instruments, accompanying the headmaster, singing the words of … Continued

Visiting Silvermine Nature Reserve with Floreat Primary School.

On Friday 13 March 2020 we had a splendid bird club outing to Silvermine Nature Reserve. 49 learners from Floreat Primary School attended along with four teachers. Roughly half of the learners were first time ‘bird clubbers’ but are members of the Enviro Club at Floreat. The four teachers all run the Enviro Club. Despite being relatively warm we enjoyed a lovely ramble towards the waterfall at Silvermine (gate 2). We discussed what the term ‘nature reserve’ means, pollination and various aspects of the ‘fynbos biome’ such as finding different examples of ericas, restios and proteas. Most of the proteas … Continued

Bird Club attends Pride of Table Mountain.

On 1 February we kicked off our school bird club program for 2020 with a day exploring Table Mountain with the Pride of Table Mountain education group. 49 learners from Floreat Primary school took part in the hike. This was a larger group than usual: half of the kids were from Bird Club and the other half from the Enviro Group at Floreat. Four adults also joined. Pride of Table Mountain is run by the Wilderness Foundation and focuses on giving learners a chance to hike on Table Mountain. The hike is structured to include various talks on ecology, water … Continued

Floreat Primary Bird Club Kirstenbosch Outing 28 November 2019.

2019 was a productive year with our Floreat Bird Club and we ended with a memorable outing to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. 43 learners were able to attend, in addition to three teachers and one Cape Bird Club representative. We slotted in with an education program run by SANBI called ‘Birds in the Ecosystem’ and they generously provided the transport to and from the school. The kids particularly enjoyed the fun introduction session which challenged them to match bird calls with species they know! Following the intro session, we had two hours to explore the garden. It was a very hot … Continued

Birdathon 2019 – 19 October 2019.

This event was originally conceived to make residents and scholars from local surrounding schools aware of the False Bay Nature Reserve and its facilities, its environment and the birds. In the past 2 years the organisation has been managed by CTEET (Cape Town Environmental Education Trust) who have proved to be very efficient at the behind scenes administration which starts almost as soon as the previous event finishes. As this is City managed land, all the rigouress by-laws, labour laws, security requirements, disaster management requirements, etc., have to be complied with. On the day a variety of walks are organised … Continued

Camp Report: 13-15 September 2019, Soetwater Enviro Centre.

The weekend camp for the CBC Youth Bird Club was a big success! 30 primary school learners joined; 20 from Floreat Primary and 10 from Steenberg Primary. The kids were split into 6 groups of 5 learners, mixed from the two schools. The groups worked well together! The schedule was full but with gaps in between for downtime to enjoy the venue. All weekend the kids could take photos in their groups to enter in various categories which were to be judged on Sunday morning. After arrival on the Friday afternoon the kids went on a coastal walk for some … Continued

Birdathon 2018 – 2. Fun Walk

The False Bay Nature Reserve Birdathon is a community event providing fun, outdoor learning opportunities for children and families from the communities surrounding the Reserve, in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The event is focused on the youth, and local primary schools make up the bulk of the participants. These schools come from the surrounding areas, including Retreat, Lavender Hill, Philippi, Pelican Park and Strandfontein, and are almost entirely from impoverished communities. The aim of the event is to expose the children and the local communities to the joys of the Nature Reserve and provide a fun family day out … Continued