Subject: BA and BOCA
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 14:09:34 +0900

I am a member of both, although my membership of BOCA is more to support a worthwhile organisation. BOCA has almost no presence in Western Australia.

Birds Australia has the recognition and trust to run significant national projects. HANZAB, Atlas, IBAs, etc are some of these. BA has run or been significantly involved in projects for Hooded Plover, Orange-bellied Parrot, Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo, (Western) Ground Parrot, Painted Snipe, among others. There are special interest groups (SIGs) associated with BA for waders, seabirds, parrots and raptors. BA operates two bird observatories at Broome and Eyre, and a reserve at Gluepot. Although BA does have a number of full time staff, it is still largely a volunteer organisation, and so this does place some limitations on how it can respond to issues.

In Western Australia, BA (WA) helps with projects for Carnaby's, Ground Parrot, Hooded Plover, wader counts, IBAs, Starling searches, etc. We have more than 70 excursions a year for our members (some allow the general public) from half day walks to extended camp outs. We survey a number of pastoral stations that have been bought by DEC as part of the state's reserve system. We publish WABN quarterly, and plan to publish a new scientific journal Amytornis annually. We run public bird identification workshops. We visit schools and community groups to give talks and lead walks. We prepare displays in public libraries. We provide leaders for bird walks at the Stirling Range Retreat each spring. We have an extensive image library of 35mm slides, digital images and laminated pictures for use in presentations and for use by our members. We have a good library for our members to use. Members may borrow binoculars, GPS, data projector, slide projector, etc. Members can purchase books at a discount. We have produced an outstanding series of more than 50 bird guide brochures throughout the state (many of which are available on our web site at We have monthly meetings. We have a state database of records for national parks, shires and other locations which augments the Atlas records. BAWA assists with the management of the Eyre Bird Observatory. We would love to do more, especially in the areas of education and conservation, but we are limited by the interests of our volunteers. We recorded more than 40,000 volunteer hours in WA last year with a membership that has just surpassed 1,000. BAWA is completely run by volunteers, except for two project officers to run the Carnaby's projects.

In many ways, it would seem sensible to only have one national bird organisation. But with the memorandum of understanding between the two organisations, they work very cooperatively together where it is important.

So I encourage all of you throughout Australia (and your friends and family) to join BA and BOCA. It is fantastic when you contribute your time also, but simply paying the annual subscription is a help. The funds help to cover running expenses and to purchase equipment, and the increased membership raises our effectiveness and public clout. In WA, we hope to increase our membership to 1,500 within the next five years.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email : ===============================

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