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Love birds? Don’t miss this!

April 7, 2009

There is a growing global consciousness of nature conservation and the preservation of our environment, and so it is no wonder that gardening and birding are becoming two of the fastest-growing hobbies, both in South Africa and abroad.

Those becoming part of this global phenomenon will be utterly pleased to attend the 2009 Sasol Birds and Birding Fair, where the main theme is indigenous gardening to attract birds. The fair runs from 2 to 4 May at the Johannesburg Zoo, and there will be an exciting line-up of demonstrations, lectures, tours and practical activities for the entire family!

Thefair is sponsored by Sasol, and it marks the beginning of National Bird Week, which is endorsed by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. This year, the popular Cape Robin-Chat is BirdLife South Africa’s bird of the year, and so will be the mascot for this year’s fair.

Activities include practical demonstrations and advice on attracting birds to your garden, provided by indigenous gardening experts Malcolm Hepplewhite and David Klopper. There is the opportunity for visitors to win all the indigenous plants on display and create their very own indigenous bird-friendly garden! There is a full-day photography course, bird walks through the zoo, live birds of prey displays, lectures on different bird species and identifying birds by Faansie Peacock and André Botha, and night tours of the zoo accompanied by traditional potjiekos.

Prime Origins will also launch their new book, Best Birding in Gauteng, which is sponsored by Sasol – it will be an invaluable resource for those in Johannesburg, the second largest urban forest in South Africa.

BirdLife South Africa is running the fair – it is an organisation that aims to promote the enjoyment, conservation, understanding and study of wild birds and their habitat. According to Mark Anderson, Executive Director of BirdLife South Africa, “The event has broad appeal, not just for birders and gardeners, but for all nature-lovers and conservationists who are interested in birds. The ongoing support from our sponsor, Sasol, ensures that we always exceed the expectations of both experienced and new birders”.

Entrance to the zoo is R25, and all the activities at the Sasol Birds and Birding Fair are free of charge!

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