Cleland Field Trip – Fairy Wrens


What started out as a field trip to measure Fairy Wrens for data collection at Cleland Wildlife Park, also sparked a passion and enthusiasm for science in the field from one particular student, strengthening his clarity on his study and career direction.  

“I was so excited,” said Ned Nosek, about what the day meant to him. “Literally, like a kid inside.” 

Ned’s journey to studying a Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour) a different one and a day surrounded by nature, a host of animals and some genuine hands-on experience was formative. “Seeing how demonstrators conduct the study and data collection really resonated with me, as did being able to see real-life data and how useful spending a large amount of time outside can be.”  

The cute and colourful Fairy Wrens took some clever targeting, through strategically placed nets, to capture and measure. It was a day full of practical problem solving. 

The theme of curious minds wasn’t limited to the student, with some very inquisitive Cape Barren Geese and Numbats doing their best to investigate the goings on. The students were also taken behind the scenes to see an echidna not on public display. 

The experience proved inspirational for Ned’s study/career aspirations. “Before this field trip, I just wanted to have the opportunity to get work with or indirectly benefit animals. After this field trip, I really feel as if it is possible for me to continue further studies, perhaps Honors. I was never confident in my abilities as I am perhaps not as book smart as others surrounding me in my course. The demonstration staff really opened my eyes to believe it is possible, giving me a huge confidence boost along with determination.” 

It was another pivotal moment for Ned who, during a gap year after high school, found himself searching for direction and purpose in a study pathway. His love of animals and the outdoors, as well as his experience growing up on a farm, led him to explore a Foundation Studies course. It was a move that resonated with him more than traditional high school learning and gave him a pathway into Flinders University. 

The style of study and the encouragement from the teachers and demonstrators has been inspiring to Ned.  “They have a clear passion that I can relate to, seeing that hard work can pay off and to stay determined as anyone can get to that point with the right motivation.” 

All of which led to day amongst the Fairy Wrens and a world of future possibilities. 

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Animal Behaviour Ecology