Dieter has been fascinated with birds since his high school days, and has been studying birds for some 40 years. He trained to be a bird ringer while studying at the University of Cape Town. Some years later he took the post of bird ringing coordinator. Dieter was in this post for 20 years, and took part in bird conferences and workshops all over Africa (and the rest of the world). He organised many national, and some international, bird ringing courses. All this involved lots of bird watching too!
From his school days Dieter has been interested in the Southern Masked Weaver, and this interest grew to include all weavers. Dieter is particularly interested in the ecological relationships of weavers and other fauna and flora. This includes the nest sites that weavers choose, to the raptors and other predators that hunt weavers.
Having been involved in bird ringing for over 30 years, Dieter is well placed to lead bird ringing expeditions. He enjoys sharing his knowledge on birds in the hand and how ringing has benefited ornithological research and bird conservation. Dieter provides a variety of bird ringing tours and services (see Bird ringing).
Dieter is a registered bird guide in all provinces of South Africa, and has birded widely in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.
Bird talks and courses
Dieter has given countless talks at bird clubs, conferences, schools, on radio, and at other organisations. He has also given bird courses at the University of Cape Town’s Summer School. Invite Dieter to give a talk or course on Wonderful Weavers, Bird Migration, Nests and Eggs of Birds, Brood Parasites, Birds encountered on his travels in different countries, or any other bird related topic you are interested in!
With Dieter’s wide experience in ornithological research and field work, he is well placed to act as an ornithological consultant, particularly on all aspects of the weaver bird family.
Dieter has published many scientific papers on weavers, papers related to bird ringing (including patterns of primary moult), and other aspects of birds. Dieter is not only an academic but has written hundreds of birding notes and observations for bird club newsletters to share bird news with birders. Dieter’s research on weavers is based on field work (bird ringing, breeding studies, field trips), citizen science data (especially PHOWN – PHOtos of Weaver Nests), and meta-analyses of published data. Read more at Weaver research.
Brief Curriculum vitae
Dieter studied Physics at UCT obtaining a BSc in 1987 and BSc (Hons) in 1988 (radioactivity in coastal mussels). Dieter started bird-ringing while studying at UCT. Dieter worked at the CSIR in Pretoria from 1990 to 1997 in the Quaternary Dating Research Unit (radiometric dating of environmental material). While working he obtained an MSc in Physics (radioactive dating of Kuiseb calcretes in Namibia). He served on the committee of the Northern Transvaal Ornithological Society (now Pretoria Bird Club) during 1996 and 1997. In 1998 Dieter took up the post of Bird Ringing Coordinator at SAFRING to coordinate ringing in South Africa, a post he held for 20 years. He also worked to establish AFRING, a project to curate bird ringing data from the rest of Africa. He completed a PhD in 2005 on the primary moult patterns of southern African weavers using the SAFRING database and his own ringing records. Dieter currently serves on the Conservation Committee of the Cape Bird Club.