THIS WEEKEND IS THE SASOL BIRD FAIR

1 Sep
 

5 - 6 September at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. Roodepoort. JHB. South Africa

This weekend  5 – 6 September is the Sasol Bird Fair at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. Roodepoort. JHB. South Africa

Pack a picnic and soak up the magnificent scenery at the Sasol Bird Fair. Activities include guided bird walks, a bird photography workshop, interactive entertainment, face-painting and educational activities for kids There will also be an exhibition area of everything related to birds and birding, from birding books , birding apps, binoculars, spotting scopes and bird feeders to birding holiday destinations and tour operators etc.

It will also be the first time that the Rare Finch Conservation Group will be present at the event. save finch-logo 1We will have lots of fun and interesting goodies for young kids to get involved in. Come chat to us and find out more about the work that we are currently doing in collaboration with BirdLife South Africa on the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch. Just look out for the orange balloons and come on over and introduce yourselves. We certainly look forward to meeting you.

Photo Chris Krog

Photo: Chris Krog

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
 For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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The young and not so old. It’s the RFCG’s 10th anniversary

21 Aug
 

Lindsay Nutley , RFCG's newest member and founder member Fred Barnicoat. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Lindsay Nutley, RFCG’s newest member, and founder member Fred Barnicoat. Photo Eelco Meyjes

On 10 August the RFCG had its 10th Anniversary

Fred Barnicoat , who is widely regarded as one of the grand masters of South African aviculture, and a founder member of the Rare Finch Conservation Group, shares some of his wisdom and expertise with Lindsay Nutley who is the newest member to join the RFCG. Fred, who is a retired Latin teacher, is also the person who fathered the name Rare Finch Conservation Group

Neville Brickell as a specialist film maker in the early sixties

Neville Brickell as a specialist film maker in the early sixties

It is difficult to believe that when the RFCG first started in 2005 GOOGLE  was still very much in it’s infancy and facebook hadn’t even been born yet. By using their incredible collection of bird books Fred Barnicoat and Neville Brickell ( who is also a founder member of the RFCG ), were able to provide a lot of the facts needed for the RFCG to build its very first website. These two great doyens of South African aviculture, who are now deep in their seventies, have had their outstanding work published in many leading South African and international bird books.

The authoritative Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa 6th edition published in 1993. The first edition was published in 1940

The authoritative Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa 6th edition published in 1993. The first edition was published in 1940

Not many people know of the fact that Professor Gordon Lindsay Maclean, who authored the Sixth Edition of the famous Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa , publicly acknowledged the important contribution made by aviculturists when nesting and incubation data was not available to him on certain bird species in the wild .

Today, thanks to the internet, information is sourced and shared a lot quicker. Part of Lindsay Nutley’s responsibility is to help guide the RFCG to be an active participant in the exciting new digital age . Last year Lindsay , who is an Australian based in Vietnam , uploaded the RFCG onto facebook, which in turn resulted in us finding the second photograph in the world of the elusive and threatened Shelley’s crimsonwing.This photograph was very kindly donated by Colin Jackson who is based in Nairobi, Kenya.  The Shelley’s crimsonwing is the finch that is used in the RFCG logo.

 CHEERS TO THE NEXT 10 YEARS AND MANY THANKS TO ALL OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS AND SPONSORS THAT HAVE BELIEVED IN US OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS. WITHOUT YOU NOTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE.

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za


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VERY SAD NEWS

4 Aug
 

Professor Ernst Kruger

Professor Ernst Kruger

It is with deep regret that we need to inform all of our followers and supporters of the very sad and sudden passing of Professor Ernst Kruger. Ernst was a founder member and director of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. Not only was he one of South Africa’s finest aviculturists, but his contribution to the Rare Finch Conservation Group over the past 10 years was massive.

Threatened Shelley's crimsonwing finch. Visual courtesy www.gorilla.org

Shelley’s crimsonwing finch. Visual courtesy http://www.gorilla.org

Ernst played a lead scientific role with the work that was done up in Uganda on the threatened and elusive Shelley’s crimson wing finch. The fieldwork findings were shared with BirdLife International, Nature Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authorities and many more conservation organisations. To date there are still only two known photographs of the finch in the world

More recently Ernst played an instrumental part in helping to prepare the research methodology required for the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch, which now needs conservation help.

Ernst was a man with extreme integrity, high moral values and an amazing family man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Elmien and two sons plus their families during this very difficult time.

R.I.P

27 JULY 1956 – 3 AUGUST 2015

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Chris Krog shows us the way !

3 Aug
 

A Black-faced Waxbill

A Black-faced Waxbill

A Green-winged Pytilia often refered to as a Melba Finch

A Green-winged Pytilia often refered to as a Melba Finch

A Scaly-feathered Finch

A Scaly-feathered Finch

A Blue Waxbill

A Blue Waxbill

A Common Waxbill

A Common Waxbill

According to the highly acclaimed Roberts birds of Southern Africa sixth edition there are no less than 89 species of finches in this beautiful part of the African continent. It may even be the widest variety of finches that one will see anywhere in the world. Chris Krog must rank as one of the finest bird photographers in South Africa and his talent to capture the mood, the colour and birds personality is simply unbelievable. Fortunately non of the above shown finches are listed as threatened

Chris Krog. A true master with his camera

Chris Krog. A true master with his camera

The Rare Finch Conservation Group would hereby publicly like to thank him for allowing us to use his wonderful photographs to help advance a better understanding and appreciation for finches in general. And in particular the work that we are now doing on the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch,which now needs conservation help

Photo Chris Krog

Orange-breasted Waxbill

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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Orange-breasted Waxbill will now become the modern day coal mine canary

6 Jun
 

Old fashioned coal miner with his mine canary which helped to save many lives

Old fashioned coal miner with his mine canary which helped to save many lives from dangerous gasses

Just as in the past where the little coal mine canary helped to save lives so the Orange-breasted Waxbill, Africa’s smallest finch, will now become an important bird to help save the lives of no less than 92 other bird species that all use a similar habitat to itself.

Photo Chris Krog

Photo Chris Krog

Recent unexpected declines in the Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflava) has resulted in the urgent need for the species to be researched. The species has now been selected by BirdLife South Africa as a key sentinel (watchdog) bird for South African wetland bird species, including eight threatened and 84 common bird species.(Making up a total of no less than 92 other bird species) The eight Red-listed species, ranging from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered, plus all 84 common species will all benefit from the BirdLife South Africa and Rare Finch Conservation Group collaboration

Below is the list of the eight threatened species as listed in the updated 2014/15 Eskom Red Data book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

OBW news-12-2014f 8 THREATENED SPECIES

Of the 84 common bird species, that use the same habitat as the little Orange-breasted Waxbill, fourteen are finch species which naturally will also benefit from the research conservation work.

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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