By Adamu Jigare
A final-year student of Communications and Multimedia Design (CMD) at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Mr. Yvan Kamanzi, has emerged as the winner of the just-concluded Birds of AUN competition. Yvan is the son of the Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. Mr. Satnislas Kamanzi. Software Engineering major, Chukwuma Stephen emerged second-place winner while Assistant Professor of English Mohammed Tristan Purvis, won third place.
AUN President, Dr. Dawn Dekle, who initiated the ‘Birds of AUN Competition,’ announced the winners early December, at the lobby of the Dr. Robert Pastor e-library building. Global conservation watchdog National Geographic had designated 2018 as the Year of the Bird, ‘bringing attention to the threats birds face and reigniting conservation efforts.’
Dr. Dekle had introduced the contest in January after she noticed the many beautiful birds on the campus.
President Dekle, who is leading the university through a strategic sustainability agenda, had challenged students, faculty and staff to watch and photograph ‘the magnificent birds that inhabit our campus,’ and share their observation.
Mentioned in Mr. Kamanzi’s winning entry was the blue-headed Coucal (Centropus monachus), a bird, he said: “chooses to remain aloof.”
“Like all coucals, the blue-headed has very long claws that allow it to feed on tiny insects and amphibians. Their voices are deep with resonant “coo” phrases. They sit upright as they perch and sing on top of trees and branches. They are interesting to watch and do interesting things. The blue-headed Coucal can be found lurking around treetops behind Dorm EE’s open fields and the AUN huts behind the School of Law”.
The winners received N90,000 in cash prizes plus certificates.
Six semi-finalists were recognized, and each received a certificate of participation. They include Cyril Oni, Ifeatu Uzodinma, Jessica Gwadi, Terdoo Orje-Ishegh, Chiedozie Joseph, and Ruth