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A radical new approach, with minimal text and maximum fun. Faansie’s Bird Book covers every single bird that occurs regularly in South Africa.
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A radical new approach, with minimal text and maximum fun. Faansie’s Bird Book covers every single bird that occurs regularly in South Africa (722 in all!). But it doesn’t get caught up with complex and boring technical stuff. Everything is as simple and fun as it can be. It’s a whole new way of birding.
The pictures are big and a bit cartoony, but still super accurate. In each family, all the birds sit in the same position, which makes comparing the different species much easier. Illustrations are much better for identification than photos. Plus, Faansie drew lots of fun stuff in between the main pictures – such as the little images that he calls “thumbnails”. These show the bird as you would really see it in nature, or while it is doing something: feeding, flying, fighting, sleeping, bathing…whatever.
The maps are clean and simple. No multiple colours and shades to show abundance or migrations, no vagrant crosses, no subspecies. Simply – does it occur here or not? The maps come in three colours that will immediately tell you if the species is common, uncommon or rare. The colours work like a traffic light: green, orange, red. This is linked to points in the Bird Nerd Game. The rarer the bird, the more points it counts.
This book is supposed to be fun! The dirtier and more full of scribbles, the better! Tick the birds you’ve seen in the circles. You can make a tick, colour in the circle, stick a sticker, write the place and date, or whatever you like!
This is a really fun way to keep track of your sightings. Each bird in the book counts points. The rarer the bird, the more points it counts. And remember that some have bonus points or double points (see the symbols below). In the back of the book, you’ll find a purple checklist, where it shows each bird’s points. Mark all the birds you’ve seen and count up your Bird Nerd score!
Faansie Peacock started birding when he was five and has been trying to quit for about thirty years. It doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen, so now he makes a living as a professional birder. He has written and illustrated a bunch of books about birds: Pipits of Southern Africa (2006), The Chamberlain Guide to Birding Gauteng (2008), Chamberlain’s LBJs (2012) and Chamberlain’s Waders (2014). He acted as the scientific consultant for Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa (2010) and editor for the Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (2015). He has also written loads of scientific papers, blog posts and magazine articles – you can catch his articles in every month’s WEG/GO Magazine. He loves telling stories about birds and has spoken to thousands of people about more than thirty birdy topics.
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