"Whether you are an experienced birder or just learning natural history, this book will deepen your sense of place and open insights to beauty, wonder, and connection to the natural world."-John Muir Laws, author of The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada
Now in paperback This charming, full-color field guide to 25 birds easily found in Berkeley proves that even the city's avian residents are a little quirky. Meticulously detailed illustrations capture each bird's distinctive physicality and temperament. A Burrowing Owl faces you in a full head-on shot, perhaps having just raised its raspy, chattering alarm call as you trespass on its last remaining Bay Area foothold at the Marina. The Anna's Hummingbird gives you a coy backward glance to assess if you've properly admired its flashing throat feathers, maybe having just performed its signature J-shaped courtship dive. While descriptions of identification and vocalizations are straightforward, author-illustrator Oliver James takes a delightfully creative approach to his write-ups of each species. A joy to read and pore over, Birds of Berkeley
will enchant readers far beyond the city limits with its findings gleaned from painstaking and patient wildlife observation.
Oliver James was born in Berkeley in 1991. He started watching birds in his backyard on Colusa Avenue at age five and never turned back. Since then, he has competed in national birding tournaments, worked as a birding tour guide, and joined ornithological research teams from Peru to Alaska. He graduated from Berkeley High School in 2009 and Wesleyan University in 2014, and in 2021 he received master's degrees from the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. James is also the author of A Field Guide to the Birds of Wesleyan (Wesleyan University Press, 2014).