In 1910 the Gould League of Bird Lovers was formed in NSW with the express purpose of preserving bird life. This was a time when collecting eggs from bird nests was a favourite hobby for boys so the aim was to substitute a different bird related activity – mimicking bird calls.
A state wide annual competition, held in Sydney, was initiated for primary school students who competed for the Dawson Memorial Shield. This trophy which was won 6 times in the 1950s and 60s by pupils from the Merimbula Public School.
At the Pambula Show an easier option than learning to mimic bird calls is being offered for children’s interest. They will be asked to listen to a call, identify the bird and match it to the photo on display. They may also have the privilege of hearing bird calls made by adults who learnt this skill during their school days.
A report on the Pambula Show.
On Saturday 14th January, following great coverage of the event by ABC South Coast, a group of Museum Volunteers assembled for the Show at the Pambula Showgrounds. The stall we had was a gazebo provided by Rotary and shared with Bega Valley Genealogical Society Inc. We had a selection of books and publications and the new “Museum Tea Towels” on sale plus a display of Memorabilia relating to the Merimbula Public School’s success at the State Bird Calling Championships. So successful were the students that they still hold the Dawson Memorial Shield. Also on display were a number of items relating to the Gould League of Bird Lovers.
The main activity was a Challenge to match birds with their calls. This consisted of sound recordings and coloured pictures of twelve different birds. The participants took a result sheet and filled it in with the identification letter of the picture and the identity of the bird. Only 4 people achieved a perfect score. There were a number of the original contestants from the school attended during the day.
There is an opportunity to try your hand at bird/call matching at the Museum where we have reassembled the stall and placed a display including the Dawson Memorial Shield.
Why not try the challenge?
Simply download the picture panel and score sheet and print them out.
Once you have printed the forms, click on the Lorikeet below to play the bird calls 1-12.