Above: The AS Raymond Sawyer Scholarship is back after a year break and will be sending one young amateur, professional or student aviculturist to receive the sort of training usually reserved for professionals. Pictured is 2018 winner Arno Lapiere


To apply for the 2020 Raymond Sawyer Scholarship, click here to download and save the PDF form to your desktop. Fill out the PDF form and email it to: birds.news@kelsey.co.uk


AN OPPORTUNITY FOR a young birdkeeper to learn the latest techniques from world-renowned experts is up for grabs again following a year’s break.

Applications for the Avicultural Society’s (AS) 2020 Raymond Sawyer Scholarship are open, offering one successful applicant a place this November on an avian incubation course at Durrell Conservation Academy (DCA) in Jersey.

Applicants under the age of 25, of any nationality, can apply for the AS-funded course, which this year is the “Avian Egg Incubation” workshop to help improve avicultural techniques. The workshop on November 2-6 will cover embryo and membrane development, as well as hatchery techniques. (See page 5 for workshop specification and T&Cs.)

“This year’s scholarship is open to an amateur, professional or student aviculturist”, said AS chairman Nigel Hewston. “This includes private breeders, zoo and bird garden staff and students on relevant courses.”

Four experts make up the scholarship judges’ panel, which includes Simon Bruslund, a conservation coordinator at Vogelpark Marlow in Germany. He said: “Quality training can be hard to come by for almost anyone and in aviculture it is not always easy to find a venue nor the funding. With the Raymond Sawyer Scholarship we hope to help a little bit with both.”

The previous Raymond Sawyer Scholarship winner was Arno Lapiere, of Belgium, in 2018. Mr Lapiere, a hobbyist who specialises in parrot breeding, won a place on the DCA’s “Avian Egg Incubation” workshop.

“The course gave me a lot of expertise in candling eggs, checking if eggs are fertile and at what growth stage the embryos are at,” he said. “I met zookeepers, conservationist and passionate hobbyists from all over the world and the location was phenomenal. I got to see pink pigeons, Javan green magpies and the native red-billed choughs.”

The chosen applicant will be notified shortly after the application closing date of Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

Note: should the course not run due to the coronavirus pandemic, the successful applicant’s place will be deferred.

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