Birds of Point Reyes

Heyday. Jun. 2023. 80p. ISBN 9781597146036. $25. SCI
Illustrator and lifelong birder Hansen (Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada) loves Point Reyes, located just north of San Francisco, and the creatures (especially avian) in it. In this book, he gifts fledgling birders or visitors to the area with a brief survey of some of the common bird species (and one rare one). The book’s design is simple but lovely, and the text is thoroughly readable. This book could be carried along on a hike but is perhaps better used as a pre- or post-outing reference. The introduction discusses the area’s topography and offers tips for neophyte birders. Twenty-seven species are treated in detail, along with four group accounts. Hansen’s descriptions are informative and delightful. He also has some fun by sharing memorable monikers (the turkey vulture is “our friendly funeral director”). In one instance, he imagines what a peckish peregrine falcon might be thinking as it grabs a green-winged teal to-go meal. There’s also information about the birds’ life history and pointers for identification. Hansen’s full-page images are exquisite; ample white space makes feather colors pop, and birds in motion fly off the page.
VERDICT Wonderfully fills a niche for NorCal nature travel and ornithological art.
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