Last week I took the time to disassemble and wash the outdoor bird feeder we’ve used for years. After a couple wetter-than-normal seasons, seed (and other ‘stuff’) was gumming up the whole thing. Last year we didn’t even bother hanging it up since there was no way for the food to get out. Fortunately some hot water, gloves and an old toothbrush was all it needed to bring it back to operational status. Next year I’ll throw a new coat of paint on it and it will be as good as new!
We’ve already seen the results with male and female cardinals regularly visiting. We’re anxiously awaiting the return of the numerous blue jays we’ve had in the past, but for now are satisfied with the hordes of sparrows and finches that are filling their bellies. We still have to scare off the occasional crow or blackbird when they start bullying the smaller birds – thankfully that isn’t a regular occurrence.
So why all the ‘bird talk’ today? Because we’ve found a new game by Nothing Sacred Games that helped us remember that this is bird-watching season. Their new title, Birds of a Feather, is an affordable card game for all ages. And as a bonus, will familiarize you with many, many birds types.
Supporting up to seven players, each person is dealt a hand of cards that depict both a type of bird as well as a habitat type. Your goal as a bird-watcher is to see as many different types of birds in different areas as possible.
Each habitat type is color- and icon-coded for easy recognition, and the beautifully-illustrated deck of cards contains dozens of bird species, from the Golden Eagle to the Common Yellowthroat.
Also included in Birds of a Feather is a custom scoring sheet, but the option of using a free-to-download app is what we preferred. Not only does this prevent us from having to have a pencil on hand for each player, we will not need to reprint sheets once we run out!
On each turn, choose one card to play face-down in front of you. Everyone reveals their choice at the same time and you score based upon how many different birds you see in the same habitat you played. Some types are rarer (and therefor worth more points) than others, and you also get a bonus for seeing one of each type in a habitat.
For the next round, you also play one card but you also receive points for matching habitats of the previous round. These are referred to an ‘lingering birds’ and now that you’ve entered their habitat, you can see them. They only last for one round though – those cards are removed and the newly-placed cards take their place as ‘lingering’ for the next round.
Play continues until each player has only one card left and the game ends (that last card is not used). Birds with one star on the scoresheet are worth one point, two stars are two points. The most common have no stars, but are necessary in order to get the full-habitat bonus of three points by spotting all the species.
Birds of a Feather is a nice break from all the fantasy-related games with fictional animals and beasts. The use of actual bird species will help you and your family become more familiar with bird types and might even awaken a bird watching aficionado! With games lasting only 15 minutes and available on Amazon for around $20 shipped, it would be a great choice for family game night. Keep an eye on Nothing Sacred Games’ Facebook and Twitter timelines for news about promos and specials. Be sure to let them know you’d like to see more from them on SahmReviews!
What is your favorite type of local bird?