In the first week of May every year BirdLife South Africa tries to get as many South Africans as possible from all walks of life aflutter with excitement over the feathered inhabitants of the country, and this year the bird of the year is the helmeted guinea fowl.
One of BirdLife's main aims during National Bird Week is to involve schoolchildren in the fun, and they run a competition where pupils can work in teams or alone to spot birds on one day of the week.
The school that has the highest percentage of children participating wins the grand prize, but everyone is eligible for lucky draw prizes if they just spot five different species on the day. Members of the public can also qualify for the lucky prizes.
BirdLife suggest various activities for schools to carry out during the week, such as writing poems or stories about birds, including them in art lessons, planting indigenous trees to attract birds, putting out different kinds of food for birds at the school, or visiting a good birding areas close to the school.
Other activities are planned by various bird clubs around the country, and the first Saturday in May is the highlight of the week. For more information and competition entry forms contact BirdLife on (011) 789 1122