Hundreds of keen ornithologists from across the UK will descend on the Granite City this weekend for a conference hosted by the University of Aberdeen.
The Scottish Birdwatchers’ Conference is an annual event, jointly run by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC).
These organisations aim to foster public engagement in birdwatching and ornithology, and run numerous ‘citizen science’ projects that involve the public in useful ornithological surveys.
200 delegates are expected to attend the sold out one day event which will examine the theme Birds and people – a natural relationship?
Dr Jane Reid from the University’s School of Biological Sciences said: “We are honoured to host this prestigious event in Aberdeen. This is the first year in recent times that the British Trust for Ornithology and Scottish Ornithologists’ Club have chosen to run their conference in collaboration with a University in this way”.
“The joint objective of the University and the conference organisers is to foster stronger links and interactions between interested students, academics, professionals from conservation and ornithological organisations and the enthusiastic public. We believe this conference, which includes a host of engaging international speakers who will provide insights into their ornithological expertise, will achieve this objective.”
The conference’s keynote speakers are current Chairman of Directors of the British Trust for Ornithology,Professor Tony Fox from Aarhus University in Denmark and Professor Tim Birkhead, from the University of Sheffield who has recently penned a book on the history of modern ornithology.
The event will include short ‘speed’ talks from University of Aberdeen students and academics, including key figures in Scottish ornithology and conservation, who will present their research into a range of birds from red kites to owls to gulls and other seabirds.
The conference will take place in the University’s Zoology Lecture Theatre.
On Sunday (March 23) delegates will have the opportunity to attend birdwatching walks at sites including the Ythan Estuary, Loch of Strathbeg and Montrose Basin. These sessions will be led by a local expert and member of BTO staff to help with queries about bird identification and to encourage participation in bird recording.
For more information about the Scottish Birdwatchers’ Conference visit http://www.the-soc.org.uk/