Jack Gedney: The Private Lives of Public Birds

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

7:00pm PST

Bookshop West Portal welcomes California-native Jack Gedney in celebration of his first book The Private Lives of Public Birds which releases on May 17th, 2022. This event is free to attend and currently slated to be in-person. We are monitoring the COVID situation and remain committed to following all public heath guidelines. We are flexible and will hold this event virtually if need be.


A book to help the ordinary birdwatcher appreciate the fascinating songs, stories, and science of common birds

Jack Gedney’s studies of birds provide resonant, affirming answers to the questions: Who is this bird? In what way is it beautiful? Why does it matter? Masterfully linking an abundance of poetic references with up-to-date biological science, Gedney shares his devotion to everyday Western birds in fifteen essays. Each essay illuminates the life of a single species and its relationship to humans, and how these species can help us understand birds in general. A dedicated birdwatcher and teacher, Gedney finds wonder not only in the speed and glistening beauty of the Anna’s hummingbird, but also in her nest building. He acclaims the turkey vulture’s and red-tailed hawk’s roles in our ecosystem, and he venerates the inimitable California scrub jay’s work planting acorns. Knowing that we hear birds much more often than we see them, Gedney offers his expert’s ear to help us not only identify bird songs and calls but also understand what the birds are saying. The crowd at the suet feeder will never look quite the same again. Join Gedney in the enchanted world of these not-so-ordinary birds, each enlivened by a hand-drawn portrait by artist Anna Kus Park.




Jack Gedney was born in California, bounced around the country in his youth, and returned to his home state to complete his education, studying literature and natural history at U.C. Berkeley. He is also the author of a compact field guide to the trees of the San Francisco Bay Area and co-owner of a wild bird feeding and nature shop in Novato, California.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
The Private Lives of Public Birds: Learning to Listen to the Birds Where We Live By Jack Gedney, Anna Kus Park (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jack Gedney, Anna Kus Park (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781597145749
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Heyday Books - May 17th, 2022