Roberts' Multimedia: Version 3 Guided Tour: Birds Module

Birds Module
Identification Module
Bird Lists Module
Birding Spots Module
Habitats Module
Sounds Module
Nests and Eggs
Program Layout
Setup Options

Birds Module:
Family Pages
Bird Pages
Similar Birds
Rare Birds
Add/Edit Birds
Bird Page Notes

The Family Pages

The Family Pages function as a comprehensive electronic field guide. You can page through the family pages, select a bird from the bird list or directly from the illustrations, listen to the sound, and view the field-guide text in the text box. Also included in the text box are distribution maps, alternative names and alternative bird numbers. The Family Page includes the following components; a title and menu bar, a list options box, a bird list box, a list total box, a display area, and a text box.

Family page options include;

Family Index, Family Text, Family Pages, Species text,
List Options, List, Order, Display, Search, Open a Bird Page,
Title and Menu Bar, < Page >, Bird Page, View, Sound, Similar,
Plumage Abbreviations, Language Abbreviations, Alternative Bird Numbers

Family Index and Family Text
To look up a bird family, first open the module with the   button. Click the down arrow for the alphabetical index, and select the family from the pop-out list. The right hand text box contains a general description of the bird family. Note that some families have more than one page, so page forward or back using the buttons to find a particular species.

Family Pages and  Species Text.
To identify a particular species, look up the family and identify the species from the illustrations. If you hover the mouse over an illustration, a name box will pop up identifying the species, and also plumage variations if illustrated. If you click on the illustration, a red dot will indicate that the bird is selected, the bird list will highlight the selected bird name, the bird sound will play and the right-hand text box will display the bird names, concise field-guide text, distribution map, alternative bird names, and alternative bird numbers. To open the individual bird page, double-click on the illustration. You may also open a bird page by double-clicking on the list, or using the short-cut button on the menu bar.

Bird List Options.
The bird list comprises the list options box, a search option, the list box itself, and a species total display. The list box displays the currently selected list, which is controlled by your selections in the list options box. The species total merely displays the number of species in the currently selected list.

The list options are used to select and display the list of your choice in your preferred manner. This will depend on whether you wish to find a bird by name, family name, or number. The list options include;

  • List = the source list you wish to work with. Lists available from this option include;
    • World
    • Southern Africa
    • Personal (your personal life list)
    • Red data species (for Southern Africa)
    • Endemic species (for Southern Africa)
    • (filtered) = a list that has been modified by your selections in one of the modules.
  • Order = the order in which to display the list. These include;
    • Name = alphabetical order by first name followed by family name.
    • Family = alphabetical order by family name followed by first name.
    • Roberts order = number order according to Roberts' numbers for Southern African species.
    • SAM number = number order according to Sibley and Munroe for Southern African species.
    • World Number = World number order for the selected source list.
  • Display = the language in which to display the list;
    • English (Roberts 6) = current English names in Roberts 6.
    • English (Roberts 7) = proposed English names for Roberts 7.
    • Afrikaans = proposed Afrikaans names for Roberts 7.
    • Scientific = proposed Scientific names for Roberts 7.

Once you have selected your list options, the options box can be minimized to show a greater area of list.

The quick-type search box works on the currently selected list. You can type any number or name, and the list will jump to and highlight the matching text. The search will match the numbers or letters typed, to the first position below the current selection. If no match is found below, it searches above the current position. This works well with text, as the more you type, the more specific the search. When working with numbers below 100, type in the decimal point to indicate 10. rather than 10 as part of 100.

Opening a Bird Page
To open an individual bird page, first select the bird from the list or family page illustrations, and double-click to open the bird page. To select a bird from the list, point the mouse at the list, and the bird name under the mouse pointer will "pop-up" in a pale yellow box. Click on the name, and the selected bird name will be highlighted in black, and a red dot will indicate the selected bird on the family page. To open the individual bird page, double-click on the bird name, or double-click on the illustration (where the mouse pointer changes to a hand). You can also use the short-cut icons at the top right corner of the page

The Title and Menu bar
The Title and Menu bar of the Family page includes the following options that are specific to this page;

  • < Page >  Page forward or back between the family pages.
  • Bird Page.  Opens the bird page of a selected bird. Select a bird by clicking on the picture, or clicking on the list. Then click [Bird Page]. Double-clicking on either the list or the picture will open the bird page directly.
  • View. Select the display required in the right hand text box. The options include;
    • Family Text = show the family text for the selected family page
    • Species Text = show the species text for the selected bird. This is the concise field-guide text. To view the full Roberts text, select the Bird Page option.
    • Alternative Names. Jumps to the alternative bird names when not visible. These alternative names are only indicated where available or relevant.
    • Bird Numbers. Jumps to the alternative bird numbers when not visible. . Abbreviations are as follows;
      R = Roberts order, S = Sibley and Munroe order, W = world number (x10).
  • Sound. Play, Loop, or Stop the selected bird sound. Background sounds may be switched off using the button.
  • Similar. View and compare species similar to the selected bird.

Plumage Abbreviations
The abbreviations included in the pop-up names on the family pages, are used to identify the different plumages of a species where these are illustrated. The first type of abbreviation indicates whether a species is male or female, adult or immature, breeding or non-breeding etc. The abbreviations are as follows;

m = male
f = female
a = adult
imm = immature
br = breeding
nbr = non-breeding

A combination of these is indicated by a dash. For example, a-br = adult breeding.

The second type of of abbreviation indicates the plumage phase or morph. Certain species, particularly raptors, have different colour plumages. The bird name will be appended with normal, melanistic (= black), pale, dark, intermediate, etc.

The third type of abbreviation occurs where the plumage varies between sub-species, and this is illustrated. The pop-up will contain a scientific name, which identifies the sub-species. For example, the Crested Francolin Peliperdix sephaena has two sub-species illustrated; the nominate Peliperdix sephaena sephaena, and Peliperdix sephaena rovuma.


Language Abbreviations
Language abbreviations are as follows;

A = Afrikaans, E = English, S = Scientific, G = German,  I = Indigenous South African languages.

Within the indigenous languages, abbreviations are as follows;

(K) = Kwangali, (NS) = North Sotho, (SS) = South Sotho, (Sh) = Shona, (Ts) = Tsonga, (Tw) = Tswana, (X) = Xhosa, (Z) = Zulu.


Alternative Bird Numbers
The alternative bird numbers displayed are as follows;

R = Roberts order number. These are the numbers in Roberts 5 (1985) and Roberts 6 (1993), with the exception that new or split species are inserted within taxonomic order and given a decimal number, in increments of point 1. Numbers over 900 are not used.

S = Sibley and Munroe number. This is a new South African number, with the birds arranged in taxonomic order according to Sibley and Munroe.

W = World Number. This is the world number as listed by Sibley and Munroe (1993). The number has been multiplied by 10 to allow for new species, which are included as increments of one.

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