Birds of Point Reyes  Pays Artful Homage to World-Famous Avian Biodiversity Hotspot

Illustrator Keith Hansen showcases the birds who live and layover in Marin’s premiere birding destination with paintings and playful prose in new book.

ON-SALE: JUNE 20, 2023

“Magnificently illustrated and narrated in Hansen’s poetic and often playful voice, this jewel of a book enables us to experience nature as miraculous. Each essay deserves to be reread often as a meditation on beauty and survival.”

Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club

BERKELEY, CALIF. — The sky that stretches over the rugged coastline of the Point Reyes Peninsula is one of the most frequented flyways in the nation, a veritable Grand Central Station for the feathered. Each year this region draws thousands of experienced birders, budding naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts to glimpse the stunning diversity of species flying overhead—from the arctic shorebirds wintering southward to the bold patterned songbirds honeymooning northward. In addition to these faraway sojourners, an abundance of year-rounders nest among the cypresses and sea cliffs making the Point Reyes National Seashore one of the top ten bird diversity hotspots nationwide. 

This summer Bolinas-based artist Keith Hansen, author of the best-selling Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada, invites readers to look up and take flight with these winged wonders in his richly illustrated guide Birds of Point Reyes. Through his paintbrush, Hansen brings 27 iconic species to life with dexterity and aplomb—including the beachcombing Snowy Plover, the rugged Surf Scoter, the elusive Rock Wren, the fearless American Kestrel, and more. Each richly realized portrait features an accompanying profile detailing build, plumage, character, and other idiosyncrasies gathered through Hansen’s years of observation and fieldwork with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory.

An introductory section to this volume also offers Hansen’s guidance and insight to the migratory seasons and insider tips for fruitful and ethical bird-gazing that will, as Hansen writes, help readers “perfect the art of standing still and be rewarded with the intimate and memorable encounters with the creatures of nature.”

Birds of Point Reyes is the third volume in Heyday’s beloved bird series, which also includes Oliver James’s Birds of Berkeley (now available in paperback) and Alex Harris’s Birds of Lake Merritt. It debuts June 2023, during peak migratory season.

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Advance Praise for Birds of Point Reyes

“Keith gets the Point! He distills decades of appreciation of Point Reyes into a compact treasury of natural history knowledge. Marrying his art with a lifetime of acute observation, Keith offers more than a guide to identification—you really understand how each of these birds lives. And it’s all done in his sparkling and entertaining style.”

Burr Heneman, former executive director of Point Reyes Bird Observatory

“Keith Hansen’s lovely book perfectly pairs informative, entertaining, and insightful species accounts with beautiful illustrations. A necessity for anyone visiting the Point Reyes region!”

Sophie Webb, artist, author, and biologist

“The breathtaking illustrations and exuberant species accounts in this book arise from Keith’s lifetime of boundless enchantment and keen observation. His eye for nuance and beauty brings each species to life on the page. Most important of all, his celebration of this unique peninsula’s wondrous birdlife teaches us to stay open to the world with our eyes, ears, and mind.”

Jules Evens, author of Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula

Keith Hansen illustrated and co-authored 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. His Wildlife Gallery, part of the Bolinas Museum, is an open studio showcasing his originals, prints, and other artwork. Hansen lives in Bolinas, California.