to the game


ComputerBirding is a "Bird Identification Game". The aim of the player should be to identify as many bird species as possible. For every right ID you get points. The pictures shown are selected by chance, i.e. even after playing several times you will get new species.

The Program

The program has been designed by, conception: Rainer Jahn and Stefan Tewinkel, programming: Rainer Jahn. It is on our server and can't be downloaded. The program is protected by copyright.

The Photos

Altogether more than 2700 photos of European birds or birds which have been recorded in the Western Palearctic (only in Level 5 and 6) have been used for the game. The photos have been made over several years while birdwatching and show wild living birds in their (more or less) natural habitat. The photographers were Rainer Jahn, Stefan Tewinkel, Thorsten Stegmann, Mark Piazzi, Wolfgang Forstmeier and Gerald Rothenbucher.
The copyright for the photos is at or with the photographers.

How to play

On the Start Page you select the language in which you would like to see the species names. The default language is English. Other languages can be chosen, Finnish names were added with the gentle help of Kari T. Hiilosmaa. We are very glad, that on initiative and work of Witold Muchowski the Polish species names (from "Polish names of birds of the world" by Paweł Mielczarek and Włodzimierz Cichocki, special edition of "Notatki ornitologiczne") could be inserted.

There are three kinds of playing:
1. Beginner
  • Level 1-3
  • Common species (from a Central European point of view)
  • multiple choice out of five species
2. Birder
  • Level 3-6
  • Level 5 and 6 with species from Europe ,North Africa and Middle East including rare vagrants
  • multiple choice out of ten species in Level 4-6.
3. Professional
  • Level 3-6, same bird photos as in 2. Birder
  • Level 5 and 6 with species from Europe ,North Africa and Middle East including rare vagrants
  • No multiple choice! The species names have to be typed in.
  • Upper- or lowercase, blanks(" "), apostrophes ("'") and hyphens("-") do not matter, you can write "Short-eared Owl" or "shortearedowl" with the same result.
  • By typing only a part of the name, all species names which include this part, will be listed. For instance with typing "warbler" will list all the many species with "warbler" in the name, but not "Blackcap". Got it?
  • The systematic order is conservative (remaining in the 20th century) with less splits. There is still only one Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans and one species Orphean warbler Sylvia hortensis. Only the split of Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor we adopted, now there are three: Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis and Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius pallidirostris.
  • grafiken/
  • Players of this Professional modus will be honored in the high score list with a golden medal .
To start the game click on the START-button.
The bird is then shown in the center of the screen. Above the bird you can choose different views, indicated by symbols (binocular or scope). These other views facilitate the identification considerably. Choosing another view brings you a little lesser points, missidentification leaves you, however, with even less points.
After choosing the right species in the menue, click the OK-button.
If you have absolutely no idea click on the TELL ME-button. If you have enough points you proceed to the next level. A yellow bar indicates that you might not get enough points for the next level, a red bar indicates that you won't get enough points for the next level. The highest level is level 6.
You can finish whenever you want by pressing the GAME OVER-button. All functions can also be executed via the keyboard using the tab-, enter- and cursor-keys.


Remarks, questions and suggestions for the game should be send to

And now have fun playing!