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Christmas Island Bird & Nature Week 

27 August - 3 September 2019

Theme: Tropical Seabird Research and Island Endemics

Bird week participants will be invited in small groups to help catch Abbott’s Boobies high in the rainforest canopy, assist to colour-band Brown Boobies and monitor their colonies on the remote and secluded rocky coasts.  Participants will work with our guides to study the nesting biology and foraging ecology of Christmas Island Frigatebirds and Red-tailed Tropicbirds. Depending on interest and demand, there will also be opportunities to assist in the colour-banding of Christmas Island Goshawks, a Christmas Island Hawk-Owl survey, seabird identification workshops, territory mapping of Island Thrushes and closer looks at the island’s other wildlife. And of course there will be the chance to search for a few of those rarities for which Christmas Island is so famous. Nightly seminars will showcase the results of all the seabird research (revealing the wanderings of the majestic Abbott’s Booby, CI Frigatebirds and more), the status of the endemic landbirds, the rarities of Christmas Island, and the marine and terrestrial ecology of the island.

Meet the experts

  • David James

    David James

    David James is a birder and ecologist with 35 years experience. Dave first visited Christmas Island in 2001 to participate in a wide-ranging seabird monitoring program. In 2003 he returned to undertake a population survey of the Christmas Island Frigatebird. In late 2003 he lead the Christmas island Biodiversity Monitoring Program for Parks Australia on Christmas Island. Dave began implementing National Recovery Plans for some of the Island's most threatended species, including Abbott's Booby, CI Fragatebird, CI Goshawk and CI Hawk Owl. Dave was previously the editor of Australiasian Seabird Bulletin, and published works include authoriship of research reports, scientific papers, and 90 chapters in the award winning reference "The Handbook of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB). Dave is co-author of the recent booklet "Christmas Island Birds: A Review" published as a supplement to Australian Field Ornithology.
  • Mark Holdsworth

    Mark Holdsworth

    Mark Holdsworth was employed within the Tasmanian State government conservation agency for over 30 years. A core component of Mark’s career is the Orange-bellied Parrot recovery program where he is recognised as the global expert on the species’ breeding ecology. He is a specialist in wildlife monitoring and has provided expertise to seabird projects in the Coral Sea, Auckland Islands (NZ) and Christmas Island. Mark also has a passion for birds of prey, and through his involvement with the Australasian Raptor Association, continues the long-term monitoring of the endangered Christmas Island Goshawk. Mark’s work and enthusiasm across a broad range of conservation areas, including his work on Christmas Island, was recognised in 2014 through being selected as one of four Tasmanian finalists for the Australian of the Year.
  • Dr Sue Robinson

    Dr Sue Robinson

    Dr Sue Robinson has worked as a wildlife biologist for the Tasmanian State government conservation agency for over 15 years and currently works on invasive species projects. She studied the breeding biology of Gentoo Penguins and sub-Antarctic Fur-seals, and has extensive experience in wildlife ecology and vertebrate pest programs, including assistance with cat eradication on Christmas Island. Sue has worked on a variety of seabird research projects including population monitoring of Short-tailed Shearwaters, fairy prions and shy albatross around Tasmania, frigatebirds and boobies on the Herald Islands (Coral Sea) and many of the seabird species on Macquarie Island. Sue has a passion for Christmas Island’s wildlife – especially the island’s diverse and unique crabs.
  • Liz Znidersic

    Liz Znidersic

    Liz Znidersic works as an ornithologist and for Parks and Wildlife Tasmania as an environmental educator, while in the midst of doing her PhD with Charles Sturt University ILWS. Her area of expertise is focused on detection and monitoring methods for secretive birds, focusing on the family Rallidae (rails and crakes). She is a member of the advisory team for Endangered Cocos Buff-banded Rail that is restricted to a few islands in the Cocos Islands atoll, Christmas Island’s closest neighbour. Liz has been involved in seabird, shorebird and wetland bird monitoring projects, and pest management projects around the globe including Tasmania, Faroe Islands and South Carolina. Liz will be on the lookout for vagrant species and will share her enthusiasm and insights into the unique natural values on Christmas Island.
  • Rosie Willacy

    Rosie Willacy

    Rosie Willacy is a PhD student at the University of Queensland. She is part of the X-ED lab at UQ concerned with solving complex environmental decisions, the National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Hub and is working in collaboration with Parks Australia. Her project Cat control and the ecological consequences for Christmas Island indicator species commenced early in 2017. The focus of the research is to determine whether cat control on Christmas Island could result in increases to rat densities, and whether this has the potential to result in negative outcomes for key indicator species. Rosie will be working specifically with the Christmas Island Emerald Dove and Thrush, the Red-tailed Tropicbird and Brown Booby.
  • Christmas Island National Park

    Christmas Island National Park

    Christmas Island National Park - Cat management is one of several collaborative programs conducted by Parks Australia with other partners on Christmas Island to conserve the islands unique biodiversity, which is the major attraction for nature-based tourists. Other programs in yellow crazy ant control, reptile captive breeding and forest rehabilitation. Here we show Dion Maple (Christmas Island National Park Natural Resource Manager) and Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews, discussing the initiation of the cat eradication program announced in 2014.


    Further information

    For further information on Christmas Island Bird'n'Nature Week, or to enquire about bookings, please email us by clicking here ... Pricing, accommodation options, and a sample itinerary of the week will be forwarded to you via email. 

    2015 participant Dorothy Gooding had this to say about about Bird'n'Nature Week:

    "Lisa Preston and her helpers, congratulations on a great event, the friendliness, hospitality and organisation was just amazing. Thanks for a great week"

    Bird'n'Nature Week is proudly supported by the Christmas Island Tourism Association, Indian Ocean Experiences, and the Christmas Island National Park.

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    See more:

    Christmas Island Bird N Nature week
    Christmas Island Bird Guide
    Christmas Island Bird Watching Tours
    Christmas Island Bird Guide App


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