Bird ringing course at New Holme, Hanover, 9 to 15 September 2024

One of the privileges of being a bird ringer is the opportunity to see birds up close. The opportunity to see the detail of the feathers, the colour of the eye, and the complex patterns in it, and the opportunity to grasp the reality that you don’t want to be an insect when that weapon is on the hunt for food!

Bird ringers have made a vast contribution to understanding bird migration and movements, bird survival, and many other aspects of bird biology. To do bird conservation effectively, we also need to know how these things are changing in the face of global change. We need a new generation of bird ringers to help achieve this. To find out more about all these aspects of bird ringing, read The value of bird ringing to research and conservation.

Your next opportunity to train as a bird ringer is from 9 to 15 September 2024, at the New Holme Nature Lodge, Hanover, Northern Cape.

You’ll find general information, applicable to all the BDI ringing courses here. This gives information about the daily programme, and what you need to bring with you in terms of equipment and clothing.

Links to reports of previous BDI bird ringing events and courses are here. These provide a really good insight into the experience you can anticipate. But no two courses are ever quite the same. That’s what makes them fun to run and lead. There are two reports from last year’s course at New Holme, Part 1 and Part 2. We even wrote a scientific paper out of what we discovered on this course last year; it is Open Access, and you can download it here. The paper is about the Grey-backed Sparrow-lark.

Here are the details that apply to the bird ringing course at New Holme, from Monday 9 September to Sunday 15 September 2024.


New Holme is 8 km northwest of the N1, between Hanover and Colesburg, in the Northern Cape. It is almost exactly halfway between Cape Town and Gauteng, about 700 km from each. See the map:

How to get to the bird ringing course at New Holme, Hanover, 9 to 15 September 2024

Arrival and departure

Arrive during the day on Monday 9 September. The first ringing session will be in the late afternoon, but the course proper starts next morning. Departure is after breakfast on Sunday 15 September.


The cost of the course is R7,200 per person, sharing, and R7,800 per person, single room. The cost of staying in a luxury tent is R5,500 per person, sharing (each tent sleeps three people). The price includes the course fee, the cost of accommodation for six nights including brunch and dinner, and lots of tea and coffee. It also includes a Shy Five Night Drive. It excludes drinks; there is an “honesty bar” at the Lodge.

How to book

To book, or to ask questions and get more information, please contact us at

Bird ringing course at New Holme from 9 to 15 September 2024
Bird ringing course at New Holme from 9 to 15 September 2024. Dieter Oschadleus, who will be trainer at the course, is ringing a Bokmakierie
Curlew Sandpiper
This Curlew Sandpiper, was ringed on the September 2023 ringing course at New Holme. It has just arrived on migration from the Siberian tundra. The brown on its belly is the remains of breeding plumage; within a few weeks this bird will by a dull grey and white.

Future bird ringing courses

This is the final BDI bird ringing course for 2024. There will be more courses in 2025. You will be able to find the dates in Upcoming BDI events, on the BDI website.