Friends of Scott Creek Conservation Park


Does anyone reading our programme of activities wonder what bird banding is?

The Friends of Scott Creek CP started its bird banding program in 1993, making it one of the longest running, continuous bird banding programs in the region. One or two weekends each month, a small group of us get together in the park at sunrise to set up five to seven mist nets.

We rotate around several locations in the park, so that each is visited at least once, but generally two or three times a year. Once the nets are set up, it is time to set up our equipment and get the first of several cups of tea or coffee for the morning.

The nets are checked regularly during the morning, with any birds that have flown in carefully removed and placed in a calico bag which settles them down.

Once back at base camp, the first step is to place a metal band on the leg of the bird. These all have unique numbers on them, with specific sets issued to each bird banding program throughout the world. A number of measurements are then taken, including weight, length of beak, head, tarsus (leg), wing and tail.

Many of the bird species can be released from the base camp, while others need to be returned to the location of the net in which they were caught. We generally pack up again late morning, with all data collected being reported to Canberra and also going into the Biological Data Base of SA.

Importantly, there are strict guidelines that apply to anyone running a bird banding program, including the requirement for individuals to hold a bird banding licence and the group to hold a scientific research permit and wildlife ethics committee approval. Activities are cancelled where weather conditions may adversely affect the birds’ health.

Recently, Sustainable Communities SA, through the Adelaide Hills Science Hub, joined in the promotion of the Friends of Scott Creek CP’s bird banding program, to encourage people with an interest in birds, nature and/or science, to come along and see what it is all about.

Anyone wanting information about the group or park, or wanting to get involved in any of the Friends’ activities, can contact us on or visit our very informative website You can also now follow us on our Facebook page.

All working bees meet at 9.00am at the Almanda Car Park on Dorset Vale Road (unless there is a MLR fire ban or very wet weather). To attend bird banding, contact the coordinator Don Reid on 83882123.

Programme of activities


Sat, Sun 3, 4 Bird banding
Tue 6 Working bee
Sun 11 Working bee
Tue 13 AGM
Sat, Sun 17, 18 Bird banding
Sat 24 Working bee

Bird banding in the park

A male Scarlet Robin after being banded.

A male Scarlet Robin after being banded.