CuBirds - General game info
1-5 players, 20 minutes, 8 years and older
AuthorStefan Alexander
IllustratorKristiaan der Nederlanden
Published byCatch Up Games
Online since 2022-04-17
Developed byBart De Cock (be_com4)
Boardgamegeek245476 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
CuBirds - Rules


Every day, dozens of birds perch on the fences of our countryside. When it is time to fly away, these birds jumble up, unable to organize themselves into flocks to fly home. Help them find their way back to their nest.

Game Components

110 Bird cards, distributed in 8 species


One player is randomly designated as the dealer. The dealer then shuffles the 110 Bird cards and lays out 4 rows with three cards faceup at the center of the table. Each row must be composed of 3 different Birds. If the same Bird is present multiple times on a given row, discard the extra Birds and place new cards until each row contains 3 Birds from different species.

All of the remaining cards are shuffled to form a facedown draw pile. This draw pile is placed near to the center of the table, accessible to all players.

The dealer gives 8 facedown Bird cards from the draw pile to each player: this is their starting hand.

Then the dealer deals one Bird card to each player, faceup, which the players keep in front of them: this is the first Bird in their collection .

Keep enough free space next to the draw pile to form a discard pile.

Object of the game

The game is won by the first player that manages to have gathered in their collection in front of them:

Either 7 different species

Or 2 species of at least 3 Birds

Game overview

A game plays in several successive rounds. At the beginning of each round, each player starts with 8 cards in their hand. A round continues until one of the players has no cards left in their hand. Starting with the dealer and going clockwise, each player fully completes their turn before proceeding to the next player. On their turn, a player lays one or more cards at the center of the table in order to pick cards on the table to put into their hand. Then they can complete a Flock in order to add Birds to their collection.

Players take turns until the end of the round or until a player manages to win the game.

Turn of a player

On their turn, a player must lay one or more Birds from their hand, then they may complete a Flock. The play then proceeds to the next player, going clockwise.


Mary has 4 Birds. As she wants to play the Parrots, she has to play the 2 Parrots that she has in her hand.

Mary lays her 2 Parrots on the left side of the row. As there is already another Parrot on the other side of the row, she surrounds a Pink Flamingo and an Owl. She then puts these two cards into her hand.

The player chooses a Bird from their hand and must play all the Birds of this species that they have in their hand. They lay these birds, each one next to the other on the left or on the right side of one of the 4 rows at the center of the table.

They can choose their cards independently of the species of the Birds already present in the rows.

If a player places a Bird in a row that already has one or more Birds of that species, the player must take all the cards between these Birds into their hand.

Once she has taken the cards, Mary reorganizes the row by bringing the cards together.

Next, the player slides the remaining Birds together, so that they form a continuous row.

There are only Parrots left in the row! New Birds must be added!

The first card added is a Parrot. There is still only one species of Birds in the row, so the dealer adds a new card.

The second card added is a Toucan. With two different species, the row is now complete, and the dealer stops adding new cards to it. There are now five cards in the row.

If (and only if) there is only one species of Birds left in the row right after the player took cards from it, the dealer must add cards from the draw pile to this row, one by one, until there are two different species in it.

The Birds added from the draw pile can be placed either on the left or on the right of the row.

By placing an Owl or a Magpie here, Mary would not surround a Bird and would not take any cards.

She would then have the option to take the 2 first cards from the draw pile.

It may occur that a player lays one or more Birds without surrounding any other cards between Birds of the same species.

In this case, the player takes no cards from the center of the table.

If they choose so, they have the option to take the two first cards from the draw pile and add them to their hand.


Flocks can come in two different sizes: small or big.

The number for a small Flock is displayed on the left.
The number for a big Flock is displayed on the right.

All Birds from the same species also possess the same Flock numbers.

A Flock is a series of Birds of the same species . Completing a Flock allows the player to add one or two Bird cards to their collection, which is kept in front of them.

Fred has 6 Magpies in his hand and decides to complete a Flock. He reveals all the magpies in his collection and produces a small Flock (5 cards).

As he completes a small Flock, Fred keeps one Magpie and adds it to his collection in front of him. The five other Magpies are placed in the discard pile.

In order to complete a Flock, the player has to reveal all the Birds of the same species that they hold in their hand.

If the number of revealed cards is higher or equal to the number stated for a small Flock, the player adds one of these revealed cards to their collection.

If the number of revealed cards is higher or equal to the number stated for a big Flock, the player adds two of these revealed cards to their collection.

In both cases, remaining cards are placed into the discard pile.

A player is not allowed to reveal cards if they do not have enough of them to complete a Flock.


On their turn, a player can only complete a single Flock, but they are never forced to complete a Flock. Once a Bird has been added to a player’s collection, it can never be put back into their hand or into the draw pile.

End of a round

As soon as a player has no cards left in their hand , the current round ends. Other players have to place any cards that they have left in their hand into the discard pile. The cards laid in rows at the center of the table remain in place .

The player who just ended the round becomes the new dealer and gives 8 cards from the draw pile to each player. If the draw pile gets empty, shuffle all the cards from the discard pile to form a new draw pile. The new dealer is the first to play in this round .

Game End

Seb has 2 Toucans and 3 Pink Flamingos in his collection. He obtains a third Toucan by completing a small Flock. With now 2 species of at least 3 Birds, he immediately wins the game.

If a player has 7 different species or 2 species of at least 3 Birds in their collection at the end of their turn, they win the game. The play immediately stops and the round is ended.

The game ends immediately if it is impossible for the dealer to deal 8 cards to each of the players even after reshuffling the discard pile into a new draw pile. The player with the most Bird cards in their collection then wins the game. In case of a tie, tied players share victory.

Solo variant

It is also possible to play CuBirds alone. In that case you play against a virtual opponent, RobinBird. You play following the standard rules. But the rules for RobinBird are a bit different.


Prepare the game as you would do for 2 players. Give yourself and RobinBird 8 cards, but lay the cards for RobinBird open on the table. You and RobinBird both receive a first Bird from the draw pile in your collection as usual.

Hint: if you like a bigger challenge, you could add 1 or more additional cards to the collection of RobinBird at the start of the game.

Course of the game

You take the first turn of the game. Take your turn as usual. In her turn, RobinBird draws for each row a card from the draw pile and lays it on the right side. This means drawing 4 cards in total. If this would enclose Birds, RobinBird takes those in hand and completes the rows according to the normal rules. If RobinBird would get more cards by adding the drawn card on the left side in the row, she prefers that.

The second part of RobinBird's turn, she can complete flocks. Contrary to the normal rules, RobinBird may complete as many flocks as possible. For each completed flock, she adds Birds to her collection following the normal rules.

If RobinBird doesn't have any cards left on hand after completing flocks, the round ends as usual. You need to discard your remaining cards in hand. Start the next round drawing each 8 new cards.

All other rules remain and so is the winner determined as usual.


There are 110 Bird cards in the game, distributed in 8 species. The bottom-left corner displays the number of copies of each Bird.

Small Flock2
Big Flock3
# of Birds7
Small Flock3
Big Flock4
# of Birds10
Small Flock3
Big Flock4
# of Birds10
Small Flock4
Big Flock6
# of Birds13
Small Flock4
Big Flock6
# of Birds13
Small Flock5
Big Flock7
# of Birds17
SpeciesReed Warbler
Small Flock6
Big Flock9
# of Birds20
Small Flock6
Big Flock9
# of Birds20

Hints for handling

Some actions could be automatic but are not for a good reason:
  • When a lane contains only one species after taken Birds, you'll need to confirm that new cards may be drawn. Undo will not be possible!
  • Even when you cannot complete a flock, in most cases you'll need to Skip this explicitly. This is to avoid leaking information to your opponent.
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