Becoming a bird ringer is a challenging yet exciting process. It is essential to be trained by a qualified ringer. Training courses help tremendously but are not sufficient without additional regular training with a ringer. The process can take a year or more depending on how quickly you learn all the aspects of ringing. Some things you need to learn:
When your trainer feels you are competent in all aspects of ringing, he can send a recommendation to SAFRING, preferably supported by a second ringer's recommendation. As a rough guideline aim at ringing 500 birds of 50 different species - but some trainees may need to process more birds than this to be fully competent (some trainees went to 1000 birds).
You will then receive a short data entry test to ensure that you know how to submit ringing records to SAFRING. Once qualified you will receive a ringer's number. You will also need to obtain a provincial nature conservation permit to trap birds.
It is not essential to attend a ringing course or conference, but is certainly beneficial. Our ringing courses are advertised on our web here.
If you are serious about learning to become a ringer, or would just like to watch ringing and enjoy seing birds close up, join a ringer near you. If you do not know any ringers, email SAFRING (see email in menu under "Contact us"). In the Cape Town area, ringing events are advertised here.