As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

This New Scientifically Accurate Board Game Is for the Birders ia Mark Raines

“Wingspan” features 170 unique species cards filled with real-world information, life-like illustrations

MARCH 12, 2019

Wingspan,” an eclectic new board game that transforms players into avian enthusiasts working to attract visitors to competing wildlife preserves, boasts a level of scientific rigor typically unseen in the gaming world.

As Siobhan Roberts reports for The New York Times, creator Elizabeth Hargrave—a self-proclaimed “spreadsheet geek” and avid birder—crafted “Wingspan” with mathematical precision: Drawing on data from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird citizen-science project and All About Birds portal, as well as Audubon’s online guide to North American birds, Hargrave made a massive spreadsheet detailing information such as habitat, wingspan, red-list status and diet. At one point, the document reached a staggering size of 596 rows by nearly 100 columns.

To turn this treasure trove of factoids into a playable gaming experience, Hargrave collaborated with Stonemaier Games. Jamey Stegmaier, co-founder and president of the game publishing company, tells Audubon magazine’s Shaymus McLaughlin that he was instantly intrigued by Hargrave’s description of “Wingspan,” explaining, “There’s something about birds that instantly captures a human desire to collect, sort, and admire.”

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