Rick Nuttall has been sharing his knowledge and passion for birds with like-minded people from a young age. His MSc degree involved behaviour studies of waxbills and their close relatives (Estrildid finches). Rick joined the National Museum, Bloemfontein as Ornithologist in 1991, undertaking research for ten years before his appointment as Director, a position held until November 2017. Rick has authored scientific, semi-scientific and popular ornithological publications, and contributes regularly to national bird monitoring and citizen science projects. He has led small group birding trips in South Africa and Lesotho on occasion since 1993, and has travelled widely in Southern Africa; he now leads general nature and birding tours full time.
An avid amateur photographer and sound recordist, Rick is fascinated by the natural sound environment, and always has his recording equipment at hand when he is out and about. He has been recording birds and their sounds since the early 1980s, and has a particular interest in vocal imitation or mimicry, an aspect of avian behaviour prevalent in a surprising number of bird species. Rick will join fellow sound recordist and birding enthusiast Lynette Rudman on 2 December 2021 in presenting a Learn The Birds webinar on the fascinating topic of avian vocal mimicry.