It has a membership of 5 000, many of whom belong to more than 32 affiliated bird clubs. BirdLife South Africa's vision is to promote the enjoyment, understanding, study and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. It publishes an ornithologicaljournal, Ostrich, covering the birds of Africa and its islands., as well as the magazine, African BirdLife.
One of the major projects with which it is involved is the Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2). It is one of three partners which lead this project: the other two are the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).