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Niven Library - FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology Library Guide: Support for birders

The library supports a number of themes - African ornithology, conservation biology, Antarctic and sub-antarctic biology, specifically birds.


The South African Bird Atlas Project is a citizen science initiative funded by the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (University of Cape Town) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and supported by BirdLife South AfricaIf you are interested in birds but not yet that knowledgeable, participating in this initiative with experienced birders and ornithologists is a good way to learn more about birds and enhance your birding experience. You can also participate in the numerous field trips to sample areas which are not well atlassed and at the same time visit new places and learn about new birds.

3-D African bird atlas

The 3-D Africa bird atlas is a website developed by The NaturalWorld Foundation in 2012.  This resource is targetting the more experienced birder and is 'aimed at providing a wide variety of feedback to birders and mapping the distribution and movements of Africa's birds'.  If you would like to find out more about this resource click on Protocol and read further.  The site uses iPhone & Android apps for in-the-field recording of data & uploading. Google Earth, with street view is used to present the exact spot where you saw the bird in the field.  There are over 6,500 species range maps and the opportunity to do out of range checks.  You can also create lists and view your sightings.

To find out more about how to use 3-D Africa bird atlas click on the You Tube Website Demo or the You Tube iPhone Demo.

Top Tips for Birdwatching

This is a site developed by the Natural History Museum in Tring, UK, by Jonathan Elphick.  It is neither continent nor country specific, just good advice on how to go about becoming a good birder.

With apologies to Jonathan Elphick and the NHM, I have made some slight changes to step 10.

10. Give something back

In exchange for the delight birds bring, give something back. Join BirdLife South Africa and the local Cape Bird Club. Contributing not just money but also time by helping with fundraising and bird counts as well as participating in conservation projects.