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I hope you’re ready for a life of adventure! If not, please don’t buy this book. Put it down and walk away. There are some other nice books on that table over there. But if you are, this book will help you to identify every single bird in South Africa. Easily! Along the way you will learn fun and funny facts about everything from space to superheroes, with some bird stuff too.

The first ever full field guide made just for kids. 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 technicalities. It’s a whole new way of birding – kids, you’re gonna loooooove it!

  • Covers 722 species in total.
  • Every bird in SA, not just a few common or obvious ones.
  • But no super rare vagrants or species that occur only outside South Africa’s borders.
  • Short and fun family introductions, but no long and boring texts for all the species.
  • Birds are divided into 12 logical groups, like Swimmers, Flyers, Runners and Perchers. Easy!
  • Tick the bird right there on the plate! Each counts a different number of points in the Bird Nerd Game.
  • Loads of useful “Top Tips” and fascinating “did-you-know” boxes, plus ridiculous “micro-facts”.
  • Questions and challenges to make it interactive (the answers are in the back).

Scribble away!

This book is supposed to be fun! Tell your mom I said you’re allowed to write in it. The dirtier and more full of scribbles, the better! Tick the bird’s you’ve seen in the circles. You can:

  • Make a tick
  • Colour in the circle
  • Stick a sticker
  • Write the place or date
  • It’s up to you!

Mom, to put your mind at ease, each book comes with a plastic sleeve.

Mom, to put your mind at ease, each book comes with a plastic sleeve.

Hide & Seek

Birds live in the real world and not just on the pages of bird books. As such, you’ll find loads of extra little things among the pictures. I’ve hidden hundreds of secret objects throughout the book. Can you find them all? Tick them off on the checklist on page 10. Here are some examples…

*15 cute baby birds *A bird with a super long tongue *A naughty dog *A busy Aardvark *A hiding Cheetah *A camouflaging chameleon *A Brown House Snake *Bees and a honeycomb *A gross Mopane Worm *A not-so-scary scorpion *A pine cone *A storm *Table Mountain *The Moon *A big city *Hammer and nails *A play park *A swimming pool *A golf ball *A boy’s shoes.

The Bird Nerd Game

This is a really fun way to keep track of your sightings. Each bird in the book counts points. The rarer, the more points. Some have bonus points or double points. In the back of the book you’ll find a checklist. Mark the ones you’ve seen and count up your Bird Nerd score!

Distribution maps

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.

Green is for common birds.

Orange is for uncommon birds.

Red is for rare birds.

Fun & Games

Three symbols are linked to the Bird Nerd Game. The thumbs-up is for really special birds for which you deserve a bonus point. The South African flag is for endemics – those species that live on in South Africa, like sugarbirds. We are really proud of our Mzanzi birds, so you get double points in the Bird Nerd Game if you see one of them. And then lastly, the top 20 megaticks. These count 20 points each! They are really rare, impressive birds – like Saddle-billed Stork, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Narina Trogon and African Broadbill. Let’s go birding!


Special or tricky birds.


Endemic birds live only in SA.


There are 20 trophy birds – the top ticks in SA!