Birding Ecotours Bandits

Thank you for visiting the Birding Ecotours Bandits team page. We are excited and honored to be participating in the NJ Audubons’ World Series of Birding for the first time.

With our team hailing from South Africa, across the Atlantic and at the southern tip of the African continent, we bring with us lots of experience with big days, and the all-important (and ultra-competitive) South African spirit! We have Jason Boyce taking up the reins, with Trevor Hardaker and Dylan Vasapolli bringing up the remaining members. We are all well-traveled international birders, with good complementary skills, and together with most of the team being professional birders working as guides for Birding Ecotours, we aim to do well during our first year of this prestigious event. We plan on keeping it local, but no less competitive, and falling into the Cape May County only category.

We must thank our primary sponsor, Birding Ecotours - and also mention the great Swarovski Optik Binoculars giveaway they are having at the moment (see details by scrolling down on their home page).

Our fundraising effort focuses on a cause that is close to home for all of us. We will be driving our funds to assist Birdlife Zimbabwe, and their Blue Swallow Conservation program. The Blue Swallow is a sparsely-distributed bird, and is in severe decline in southern Africa, due to primarily loss of habitat. This species occurs almost strictly in high-elevation montane grasslands, which is an area favored by the plantation-industry, and has seen huge tracts of once pristine grassland converted to near-lifeless ‘alien’ plantations. The Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe remain one of the last strongholds for this rare and enigmatic species.

The funds will be used to firstly, conduct survey’s throughout the entire Eastern Highlands area, stemming from Nyanga in the north, through to the lower Chimanimani in the south. This will allow the team to determine amongst other things, where the key areas to focus conservation efforts are, and the state of the population - how this has fared since their last survey during the austral summer of 2013/2014. Following this, secondary tasks will include, monitoring the population(s) and actively researching the population(s) through to actual conservation actions such as the removal of alien plant species in key areas.

We kindly ask for your assistance in helping us to raise funds to conserve what remains of this species. See details below on how to assist us:

In order to donate to this worthy cause, please follow the link below to the official Birdlife Zimbabwe website – Donate page.

From here (link above), you can either send a bank transfer to their account, or click on the blue ‘Donate' button, which will take you through to Birdlife Zimbabwe’s paynow page, and you can then donate with your CreditCard. When using the latter process, fill in the few required details, and please select the ‘Blue Swallow Conservation’ option, under “I would like to donate towards:”.

The link for Birdlife Zimbabwe’s paynow page is below:

Thanking you, and good birding from the Birding Ecotours Bandits!


Team Members
Jason Boyce
Trevor Hardaker
Dylan Vasapolli