Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada

Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada
Paperback, 5 x 8.5, 352 pages.
ISBN: 9781597145336.

By Adam Donkin , Edward C. Beedy , Keith Hansen

Identify and learn about over two hundred and fifty birds of the Sierra Nevada. From tiniest hummingbirds to condors with nine-foot wingspans; from lower-elevation wrens to the rasping nutcrackers of the High Sierra; from urban House Sparrows to wild water–loving American Dippers, Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada showcases artist-naturalist Keith Hansen’s sixteen-year project to illustrate the birds of the Sierra Nevada. Paired with stunningly detailed portraits is text informed by decades of birding experience—prose that while firmly grounded in expertise will nonetheless delight readers with its whimsy, allusion, and affection. Take the Bufflehead: “A diminutive and endearing diving duck,” which moves “with spirited abandon.” Or the “scrappy and antagonistic” Merlin, “holding dominion over winter skies, tormenting eagles, hawks, and vultures alike.” The White-tailed Kite is “angelic in poise, a streamlined bird of unblemished tailoring”; the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher sports a black eye-to-eye brow, imparting a “Frida Kahlo–like stare.” This book is the field guide companion to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status, and Distribution, also coauthored by Edward C. Beedy and illustrated by Keith Hansen (University of California Press, 2013).

This is a copublication with Sierra College Press.


"On each of these pages, the authors bring the birds to life, first with the superbly detailed illustrations, then with the species account below. [...] This book is among the most informative region-specific field guides I’ve seen." —RACHEL CLARK, American Birding Association
“I’m thrilled to see this comprehensive guide from Keith Hansen. Based on a lifetime of careful and thoughtful observation, Keith brings his meticulous clarity and engaging flair to illustrations and text alike. His love of birds shines through on every page as he celebrates the distinctive personality of each species. This is not just a guide to identifying birds, but a guide to knowing birds, and with Keith as narrator you can be sure it’s both illuminating and entertaining.” —DAVID ALLEN SIBLEY, author of What It’s Like to Be a Bird
“This isn’t a book, it’s an experience—a joyful encounter with the treasures of the Sierra Nevada. Through the art and words of the inimitable Keith Hansen, the birds come alive, in all their unique character, on every page. Perusing this work is almost as good as going birding with Keith, and that’s saying a lot.” —KENN KAUFMAN, author of Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America
“This is the Sierra field guide I have been waiting for. It is unsurpassed for identification but goes far beyond that. Keith Hansen is my bird illustration mentor. His birds are not only accurate, but alive. The drawings capture the beauty, comic nature, and majesty of birds. The text is carefully refined to highlight need-to-know information that is succinct and rich. You will learn not just how to identify the birds, but how to look with a joyful attention that will open new doors to wonder and nature connection.” —JOHN MUIR LAWS, author of The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada
“The term ‘a lifetime’s work’ is often overused, but it applies truly to this book. As a boy Keith started roaming the Sierra Nevada, and this book blesses us with his lifetime of insights, visual and verbal. To paraphrase from his own work, ‘If a regular field guide is a utility vehicle, this book is a Ferrari,’ and it will speed you on your way to appreciating and truly knowing the birds of the Sierra.” —STEVE N. G. HOWELL, senior leader of WINGS Birding Tours
“This is no ordinary field guide. It is, rather, a sumptuous reflection of birds, delivered with both the artist’s skillful brush and the writer’s imaginative pen. Neither feather nor word is out of place. Keith’s exuberance, wealth of field experience, and perfectionism, as displayed in an efficiently pleasing layout, will inspire users not only to correctly identify birds but to fully appreciate their place in the world, while the majestic Sierra Nevada bioregion provides the perfect canvas to showcase his scientific precision and artistic talent. If you really want to comprehend birds, get this book!” —PETER PYLE, author of Identification Guide to North American Birds
“If you aspire to cultivate a deep love for birds, you have a soulmate in Keith Hansen and a roadmap in Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada. Long appreciated as a talented bird artist, Keith now takes his place among such interpreters of Sierra bird life as Tracy Storer and David Gaines.” —DAVID DESANTE, founder of the Institute for Bird Populations
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Category Nature

About the Authors

Adam Donkin

Adam Donkin

Adam Donkin designs apps for major tech companies in Silicon Valley. He is co-founder of Flock LLC., where he creates mobile app experiences that encourage people to fall in love with nature through birding.

Edward C. Beedy

Edward C. Beedy

Edward C. Beedy, who has a PhD in zoology, has authored numerous technical publications and articles about Sierra birds. He is the co-author of Birds of the Sierra Nevada and Discovering Sierra Birds.

Keith Hansen

Keith Hansen

Keith Hansen illustrated and coauthored Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada (Heyday,2021), a field guide companion to Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status, and Distribution. He is a professional bird illustrator whose images have been featured in Discovering Sierra Birds; Birds of Yosemite and the East Slope; and Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula, among other books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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