This charming full-colour field guide introduces fifteen waterbirds easily found in the urban wildlife refuge of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. In his introduction, author-illustrator Alex Harris includes a history of the lake, providing context for a place that is alluring to humans and shorebirds alike. Each species profile of the lake's feathered residents is accompanied by a beautiful, detailed watercolour that captures the bird's distinctive colouring and sinuous physicality. The black-crowned night heron, Oakland's official city bird, stares with its startling orange eyes, while the American coot flexes its fancy, flared feet. Along with straightforward notes on the identification of each bird, Harris features the voices of Oakland community members, sharing moments of delight from the birds' most dedicated observers. A celebration of avian life and the human pleasure of witnessing it, Birds of Lake Merritt is an essential guide to the natural world in the heart of the city.
Alex Harris, born and raised in Berkeley, California, is an artist interested in using art and technology to look at how humans interface with the natural world. He has a BA in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and previously worked as the web editor and electronic communications manager at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. He lives and works in Oakland, California.