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Raymond Sawyer Scholarship 2017 now open to applicants for husbandry course

simonA SECOND CHANCE to win a place on an intensive five-day bird husbandry training course at Jersey’s Durrell Conservation Academy (DCA) has been made possible, thanks to the Avicultural Society (AS).

The annual Raymond Sawyer Scholarship, funded by money left to the AS by the great aviculturist, allows one student under the age of 25 to take part in one of two specialist avian courses at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s DCA. This year is the turn of the “Conservation breeding and husbandry of birds” workshop on November 6-10. Though in its sixth year at the DCA, it is only the second time this course has been offered to the Raymond Sawyer Scholarship.

The DCA’s Tim Wright said: “This course is designed to expose participants to the latest theory and practice of bird husbandry and captive breeding. Participants will be equipped with the necessary skills to successfully manage and breed birds in captivity, and understand the potential to support conservation of threatened species.”

The course will cover the principles of bird enclosure design, management and nutrition, artificial incubation and hand-rearing techniques, and key factors for managing health within a collection. The main groups covered in the course will be passerines, pigeons, and wildfowl.

Representatives of the AS, DCA and Cage & Aviary Birds will choose the winner, and this year Simon Bruslund, curator of birds at Heidelberg Zoo, Germany, takes over from Laura Gardner.

Mr Bruslund has worked professionally in aviculture his whole life, and in recent years his focus has been towards conservation and internationally managed breeding programmes and cooperation. He said: “Avicultural skill and knowledge is essential for us to achieve our goals in conservation breeding, yet we often fail to appreciate the importance of it.

“Institutionalised teaching like Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s bird husbandry or incubation courses are unfortunately much too rare, but are a great opportunity for anyone who is truly interested in breeding birds.”

● The closing date for applications is June 30, 2017. To apply, see the C&AB homepage: www.cageandaviarybirds.co.uk

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