How do I play?

Know Your SA Birds is a simple little game. We want to create a “birder’s classification” of South African birds. The aim is to better understand how birders see the birds. Just identify birds from their photos and provide us with some bird classification information. Along the way you get a chance to sharpen, and show-off, your birding skills. It’s also a great way to brush-up before an excursion, or test your development as a skilled birder.

Where do I start?

Create an account by signing up on the home page. Once you've created an account you'll be redirected to your user page, where you'll be able to start a new game. (Don’t worry, we promise not to share your email address.)

What then?

You'll be shown the image of a bird; below it will be a few possible options. Only one of these options is the correct choice. Simply identify this species. Click on the option that you think is correct, or, if you prefer not to guess, hit "I don't know". You will get 4 points for a correct answer, lose one point for an incorrect answer. Your score remains unchanged for an “I don’t know” response.

You will then be asked to place the identified bird into a category which describes how you would categorize this bird. For instance, if a Narina Trogon is displayed, you might categorize it with the moniker “forest” or “cryptic”.

What are categories?

Part of the reason this game exists is to understand how people group birds. We don't want to influence you in any way, we want to see how, in your mind, you would subdivide birds. Still having difficulty imagining what we're looking for?

Imagine this: you receive a big box full of photos of birds. Your task is to put these photos into smaller boxes that you will then label. Say you had a photo of a chicken. You might put it into a box which you would then label "farm", or "tame," or "edible" or any possible category you associate with that bird. Other photos you come across might receive a similar label; or, perhaps they are in-need of unique categories. It’s up to you. We want to know how you would subdivide these bird species.

Associated Species

Below the category you have just assigned, you will be asked to name two additional species of birds. We want to know two other bird species which you a) associate under the same category as the bird identified; and b) would be equally as excited to see. For instance, if you were given the Narina Trogon, you might classify it as “forest” and record the Green Malkoha and Cape Parrot as two similar birds you would be equally as excited to see. Again, we want to hear your responses.

“Wow” scores!

How enthusiastic would you be to see this bird, and the ones you similarly identified, in the wild? This helps us determine levels of enthusiasm for similarly grouped bird species. Once you have clicked on the proper “wow score” the game will proceed to the next species.

How does the game end?

The roster contains hundreds of birds. Luckily, you do not need to play an entire game in a single sitting! The website remembers where you are. You can close your browser at any time. The next time you visit the website you can pick up where you left off. The longer you play, the better your score can become (and the more information we receive about how you classify bird species).

Alternatively, if you want to end a game early, you can hit "end game" on the initial answer selection page (you may need to scroll down to see this). Be warned! This cannot be undone! If you are aiming for a high-score, it's always best to play a longer game to increase your score.

Join our leader board!

Once you finish a game, either by hitting "end game" or working your way through all the birds in the system, you'll be offered a chance to post your score to our leader board. This will be your only chance at posting your score. This is entirely voluntary, and will not affect your ability to play again. Go ahead: submit your score and boast to your fellow birders!

I've found a error/I have a problem!

Drop me an email at calvin /DOT/ brizzi /AT/ gmail /DOT/ com with as much detail as possible and I'll try to fix it.