The complete pictorial and factual guide to all South Africa’s bird species

Now with added species and features

Sappi Birds
of South Africa

Sappi Birds of South Africa Enhanced Edition with Callfinder packet

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Briza's Sappi Birds of
South Africa

First in South Africa's ornithological history: Briza Publications' remarkable and innovative bird guide, a truly novel concept. The bird watcher can see an image of the period and year its actual call on the same page of the book, ensuring quick association, supplemented by information and hints on the bird's behaviour to assist with finding and identifying it correctly.

Available in English
Available in English
Beskikbaar in Afrikaans
Beskikbaar in Afrikaans
Sappi Voels van Suid Africa Cover - Briza Publications
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Available in English
Beskikbaar in Afrikaans
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Since its launch in 2014, Sappi Birds of South Africa has become a game changer in South Africa’s ornithological and birdwatching community. Not only is it an excellent guidebook celebrating South Africa’s unique birds with high quality photographs and up-to-date information, it is also uniquely accessible thanks to the revolutionary Callfinder®.

Over the years, Sappi Birds of South Africa and the Briza Callfinder® have been packed in backpacks, passed around on game drives and shared around countless campfires, delighting South African families, tourists and students alike. With this new edition and the upcoming launch of the Briza Callfinder® app, we hope this tradition will continue for decades to come.

Let’s show you how it works

Briza uses new printing technology to print an invisible grid over every photo. The eye of the Callfinder® reads this grid and recalls the bird’s call from its internal memory card. For the first time bird calls can be heard from the pages of a field guide!

Watch this short video to see how our Briza Callfinder® works on the Sappi Birds of South Africa book.

Briza's Callfinder®

Briza's Callfinder® has revolutionised the birding and safari experience. It is used in conjunction with a selection of our flagship books to release sounds from the pictures.

The Briza Callfinder® Pen
Callfinder Talking Dictionary Briza Publications
One Callfinder® pen for any Callfinder® ready books

Use one Callfinder® pen for any Callfinder® ready books. Both Callfinder® pens are cross compatible with all our nature Callfinder® ready books and the Talking Dictionary®.

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Our authors

In 2003, Saartjie Kidson and Herman van Niekerk discovered a shortcoming in local bird guides and immediately started to work on a new series of innovative bird guides. Their knowledge and love of nature and involvement in bird watching and nature conservation ideally equipped them for such a comprehensive project. Two popular regional bird guides, Spotter’s guide to birds of the Bushveld and Spotter’s guide to birds of the Lowveld, were completed with accompanying, value-adding DVDs and a bird call CD. Then the giant step was taken to produce a national bird guide based on the same concept. Advanced technology, however, now made it possible to replace the separate DVDs with the Callfinder®, greatly enhancing the accessibility of bird calls. A first for South Africa.

The authors are convinced that bird watching in South Africa will henceforth change substantially and that an entire new generation of young, technologically minded people will become dedicated bird watchers.

Saartjie Kidson

Saartjie Kidson

Co-author of Spotter's Guide to Birds series and co-founder of the Naboomspruit Bird Club

Herman van Niekerk

Herman van Niekerk

Writer of 11 books and more than 300 articles and co-founder of the Friends of Nylsvley

Unique features

The Briza Callfinder® revolutionises the birding experience by unlocking sounds from images so that you can be sensually immersed during your reading experience. However, with or without the Callfinder, Sappi Birds of South Africa is filled with special features that elevate it above its competitors.

Icons in Sappi Birds of South Africa Briza Publications

Learn more

The text does not merely describe what can be seen in the photographs, but also offers a wealth of extraordinary facts. Informative icons provided throughout the book illustrate normal habitat, nest position, relative size and social behaviour for each bird.

SAPPI Birds of South African Briza Publications

Distribution maps

New updated distribution maps are provided for each bird species to indicate where each bird can be found around the country.

The Briza Callfinder

Efficient grouping with shapefinder

Bird species are uniquely grouped together according to four behaviour groups: Waterbirds, Raptors, Veld Landscape and Bush Landscape birds. Grouping is then further broken down into the birds’ external shapes ensuring that similar looking birds are close to each other thus assisting in comparing different species.

Bird image Briza Publications

High quality images

This book includes more than 800 beautiful, full-colour photographs and images created by renown photographers.



A bilingual index is provided where all the birds are listed by their common group names, such as duck or sparrow and the relevant page numbers.

Bird watching image Briza Publications

Use it anywhere

The book can be used in a multitude of settings, from the home to the school or when bird watching anywhere in the country.

Our sponsors

 It is an honour for us to be associated with businesses and organisations that, even in difficult economic times, passionately support such an important cause.

sappi Logo - Briza Publications
Read CEO Steve Binnie press release

I am delighted to introduce to you Sappi Birds of South Africa, published by Briza Publications. Whether you’re a beginner or a committed twitcher, and whether you’re trying to identify an ‘LBJ’ or a ‘lifer’, this field guide will help you hone your sense of observation and tell you what to look and listen for and how to make sense of what you see and hear.

In South Africa, with approximately one-tenth of the world’s bird species, there is plenty of birdlife to see and hear.

This guide makes identification of local birds and global visitors easy through the use of detailed, high-resolution photographs, the ‘Shapefinder’ guide and four icon groups which give a quick reference to habitat, breeding, relative size and social behaviour.

Adding another dimension to the whole birding experience is the innovative ‘Callfinder®’. When this electronic device is placed on a picture in the section with species descriptions it emits the call or song of that particular bird.

The debate about paper and electronic communication rages on, with some expounding the virtues of paper over electronic and vice versa. At Sappi we believe neither is mutually exclusive and for a full experience both types of media should be used. This field guide is an outstanding example of how paper and electronic media can work together to enhance the overall communication experience and deeper understanding of birds and birding.

As a major landowner in South Africa, we take our responsibility for the environment very seriously. Sponsoring this guide is in line with our long-standing commitment to conservation and to nurturing an appreciation for nature and the sustainable use of renewable resources. This commitment is highlighted by the fact that approximately one third of our land holdings are unplanted and are managed for biodiversity conservation. Over 450 bird species – over half the bird species in South Africa – have been recorded on Sappi land. These include the Peregrine Falcon, the Secretary Bird and the Crowned Eagle, all of which are listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In addition to initiatives such as the Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk and the Karkloof Conservation Centre (both SappiWWF TreeRoutes Partnership projects) where many special birds can be sighted, we also promote mountain biking on our land. This approach is based on the belief that the more we can encourage people to enjoy healthy outdoor pastimes like birding and mountain biking, the more we can foster an appreciation of the environment and the greater our chances of conserving our precious natural heritage.

Of course, the great thing about birding is that it crosses the divides of age and physical fitness – it’s something the youngest and oldest member of any family can become equally proficient in and enjoy. And while you are probably more likely to see a greater diversity of birds in one of South Africa’s many wildlife and nature reserves, birding can be just as rewarding in your own garden or nearby park.

Wherever you choose to use this book, I wish you many happy hours of reading and understanding.

Ralph Boëttger

Chief Executive Officer

About Zeiss

ZEISS – an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. With its solutions, ZEISS constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress.

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