BirdID Training Course
1. BirdID or Bird Identification Course
BirdID, abbreviation of “Bird Identification”, is a course and website for the identification of Western Palearctic birds. BirdID is developed by Nord University and local partners in more than eight different countries. It is one of the Best Bird Identification courses in the world. Students who follow this course and successfully pass the online exam for images and sounds of birds receive a certificate issued by Nord University. Neither the course, nor the online exam (nor the certificate) do require a participation fee.
2. BirdID in Albania
BirdID was implemented for the first time in Albania in 2018, from AOS (Albanian Ornithological Society) and PPNEA. The course had a time span of 6 months (April- September, 2018). It was composed by 4 short theoretical sessions and 24 days of field practice (organized every two weekends). The theoretical sessions were run at Polis University to whom we express our greatest gratitude for the support. The field practices were conducted in urban parks (Lake Park, Tirana), in coastal lagoons (National Park Divjaka-Karavasta, Lagoons of Narta, Orikumi, Adriatic etc), in lakes (Lake of Ohri, Prespa), in National Mountain Parks (Dajti National Park, Llogara NP, Qafë Shtamë NP and Mali me Gropa) etc. Overall, in the above ecosystems, more than 170 bird species were recorded by students and teachers.
3. Participation in BirdID 2018 Albania
The course had a participation of 23 partakers from 47 initial applicants, who belonged to the 21-45 age group and different backgrounds but with the same passion for nature, biodiversity and specifically for birds.
4. Teachers of BirdID in Albania
Teachers of this course were Dr. Taulant Bino, in the position of the Main Teacher and Msc. Erald Xeka, in the position of assistant – teacher, both of them representatives of Albanian Ornithological Society – AOS.
5. The gained knowledge
The participants had the chance to expand their knowledge in bird identification through field visits, where information was shared about the birds’ morphology, behavior, distribution in different habitats, sounds and songs, etc.
The students also had the opportunity to exercise through ongoing tests on the website: www.birdid.no. Furthermore, they created their own group-chats in social networks such as Facebook or WhatsApp, where they shared photos, recordings, information and “quizzes” about birds and also personal experiences related to them, thus increasing their interest on birds and at the same time expanding their knowledge on this field.
6. Formal exams and Certification of Knowledge
In conclusion of theoretical and practical sessions, students had the opportunity to assist in various activities focused on birds, such as: EuroBirdwatch 2018, Bird Ringing at the Orikum Ringing Camp, International Waterbird Census 2019, Night Birdwatch 2019 etc.
The participation of the students in these activities was not just another new experience for them but at the same time an indicator of the importance of the BirdID course in developing field capacities for bird identification.
All the knowledge gained from the course and from various activities, is being tested online on the website mentioned above (www.birdid.no). Students are taking an exam for images and one for the sounds. The students, who are going to pass both exams, will receive a certificate issued by Nord University and a T-shirt with the BirdID logo, as a sign of gratitude for their merits, work and passion for birds.