Curtis Hayne is a young photographer and passionate birdwatcher in the Gwydir valley, home to wetlands that extend from the Northern Tablelands to the Northern Plains region of NSW.
Curtis, who is in his late teens, is on a mission to raise awareness of Australia’s native birds and capture their beauty.
He is an official Department of Planning, Industry and Environment volunteer, doing his bit to conserve local birdlife and encourage others to do the same.
Curtis’s main role is conducting wetland bird surveys in the Gwydir Wetlands.
He has gone into remote sites and waded into wetlands through knee-deep water to count nesting waterbirds.
He was also a volunteer guide when the Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area was first opened to the public.
Along the way, Curtis has taken some stunning photographs of native birdlife.
Curtis shares his story
Curtis tells us about his interests and how he came to volunteer as a citizen scientist.
Curtis’s photographic skill and enthusiasm for all things environmental have impressed Senior Wetlands Conservation Officer Daryl Albertson.
‘It’s not very often that someone as young as Curtis shows such drive and a passion for birds,’ Mr Albertson said.
‘His photographs show that he knows his quarry and can position himself in the right place to take some really great shots.
‘Curtis is a real bird hunter and his photographs are a testament to his skills and knowledge.
‘With his level of drive and enthusiasm we can expect him to continue to follow his passion along the path into the ornithology field of science.
‘His future volunteer work with us can only help him along this path, providing regular opportunities to pursue his passion, in and around the waters of the Gwydir Wetlands,’ Mr Albertson said.