Birdlife Southern Highlands spreads its wings

Anyone is welcome to try a Birdlife Southern Highlands field trip. Photo supplied The Highlands diverse geography attracts many types of birds. Photo supplied.

So it’s little wonder that Birdlife Southern Highlands, a branch of Birdlife Australia, has grown to about 90 members who are very active in the promotion of education and conservation of our bird species.

The branch conducts two field trips per month, and will sometimes travel to another region for a few days. Most trips are half days in nearby locations, and the group might walk for a couple of kilometres.

“These trips are open to all members, and age and fitness are no barrier,” according to the branch’s Col Kohlhagen.

“There is always an experienced person on the trip and even people who come without knowing one type of bird learn lots of species very quickly. We also have lots of photographers in our group,” he said.

The branch was formed in January 2009 by a small group of keen birdwatchers who were members of Bird Observation and Conservation Australia [BOCA]. Following the merger between Birds Australia and BOCA, the local birdwatching organisation became a branch of BirdLife Australia in January 2012. BirdLife Australia is a not-for-profit registered charity which supports birds and their habitat. This new peak body maintains a broad focus which incorporates recreational birding, conservation, education and research.

In addition to the field days, Mr Kohlhagen said guest speakers come to several meetings a year.

“We are active educating children about birds, and we also undertake regular bird atlassing – we have recently set up an atlas field site at Wingello Public School. We also participate in the council’s annual Environment Day,” he said.

For more information and to find membership forms, visit and follow the links to the Southern Highlands branch.

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