Above: 2017 winner Anna Temple with Gianna, a captive red-billed chough from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s reintroduction project. This year, while the Raymond Sawyer Scholarship is open to professional, amateur or student aviculturists, the panel would like more amateur breeders to apply. Photo: Anna Temple
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THE AVICULTURAL SOCIETY (AS) is encouraging amateur bird breeders to apply for this year’s Raymond Sawyer Scholarship.
2018 welcomes the fifth year that the AS-funded scholarship will send a young birdkeeper under the age of 25, of any nationality, on a specialist avian course at the Durrell Conservation Academy (DCA) in Jersey.
In previous years, young birdkeepers with a professional background in aviculture have won the scholarship. However, this year the judging panel would particularly like to see amateur breeders come forward, who would use the 2018 “Avian Egg Incubation” workshop to improve avicultural techniques in their hobby.
According to AS chairman Nigel Hewston, one of the society’s strengths is its blend of professional and amateur members, therefore, it would like to see this reflected in the scholarship.
Mr Hewston explained: “Amateur breeders rarely have access to the sort of professional training offered at the DCA, but can benefit just as much as career birdkeepers, particularly with the high-tech equipment that is widely available today.
“Until now, applications from professionals or would-be professionals have far outnumbered those from hobbyists, and we would like to encourage more amateurs to apply.”
The five-day workshop runs from November 5-9, and will be led by renowned US expert Susie Kasielke, an avian biologist at Toledo Zoo Aquarium, USA. The workshop will cover embryo and membrane development, as well as hatchery techniques. The AS scholarship will fund the £600 course fee and on-site accommodation costs.
Last year’s Raymond Sawyer Scholarship winner, Anna Temple, 22, of Jarrow, aspired to work in endangered species recovery and reintroductions. She won a place on the DCA’s “Conservation breeding and husbandry of birds” workshop, which was later altered to special “hands-on” training with the academy’s reintroduced managed population of red-billed choughs (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
Miss Temple told Cage & Aviary Birds: “My time at the DCA provided me with a practical example of the knowledge and skills utilised in conservation aviculture from one of the most esteemed institutions in the field. I was privileged not only to be introduced to a new avicultural skill in salvaging cracked eggs, but I have made incredibly valuable connections.”
The chosen applicant will be notified shortly after the application closing date of June 29, 2018.
● To apply for this year’s Raymond Sawyer Scholarship, and for the workshop specification, please see details above.
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