Alex Harris

Birds of Lake Merritt

A richly illustrated birding guide to the nation's first official wildlife refuge

This book introduces us to the 15 of the ducks, herons, pelicans, geese and other species of bird that can be found on the waters of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The introduction tells the history of the "lake" (spoiler alert it isn't actually a lake) and how it came to be home to the first officially designated wildlife refuge in the nation.

About Birds of Lake Merritt

  • Hardcover
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • 70 pages
  • Published by Heyday Books
  • Over 15 full color paintings

Order online

Or, at your favorite local bookstore.

Praise for Birds of Lake Merritt

“I’ve always known Lake Merritt as a great place to look for birds, not knowing that it was originally designated as a bird sanctuary over 150 years ago—the first wildlife refuge in the country! This charming book is the perfect introduction to the lake and its birds, and it’s sure to give you a new appreciation of both.”
“With brush and words, Alex Harris brings out the local color of beloved birds in the heart of Oakland. Through each bird’s backstory, we see that Lake Merritt is a meeting spot for local avian residents and international travelers alike. Alex’s bird portraits capture the life, whimsy, and identification details of fifteen common species, making this a great introduction to birds for adults and youth.”
"Just like the birds that flock to Lake Merritt every winter, I find myself returning to this book again and again. Every time I absorb these pages, I’m instantly transported to my favorite place in Oakland."
“Beautifully illustrated and written, this is a must-have for anyone who wants to better understand and appreciate our neighbors.”

Media and stuff

  • On instagram at @waggledance
  • On email at hello @ alexharris dot online

Or send me a note here: