Published by the Golden Gate Audubon Society

Aren't we all bird lovers, each in our own way?

Why We Bird will spark thoughts about why you bird.

About Why We Bird

Why We Bird organizes a lifetime of birding experiences into seven reasons why we bird: Flight, Song, Color; Identifications; Games; Surprises; Conservation; Stories; and Solace.

Why We Bird is a collection of stories: birding with a friend after he gets dementia; telling a grandson about owls; analyzing a great mis-identification; listening to cranes; chasing rare birds, pelagic birds, and life birds; canoeing on Christmas Counts; and more.

Why We Bird includes the reasons other bird lovers have watched, chased, or protected birds, and has an extensive reference list of birding — as opposed to bird — books. Why We Bird is different from these other birding books because it focuses directly on why we bird. Why We Bird is also a tour of many of the top birding spots in California, from Tule Lake to the Salton Sea.

What others are saying about Why We Bird

DAVID RICE absolutely nails the high adventures and roiling emotions that define this great game called BIRDING.

Rich Stallcup (1944 – 2012)

PRBO Conservation Science Naturalist and devoted BIRDER!!!

Whether you're an obsessive birder yourself or a non-birding friend or companion... You’ll love this book, and you’ll learn a lot about the passionate and sometimes strange lives of the people who call themselves birders.

Ted Floyd
Editor, Birding

This charming little book touches upon many of the aspects of birding that motivates us (birders). Beginner birders or people with an interest in learning about birding may discover some new ways of looking at the birding lifestyle. Long-time birders may reawaken their long-forgotten passions about birding as well.

John Sterling
Professional Ornithologist

About the author and illustrator

Photo of David C. Rice


David Rice has a junior Audubon pin on his bulletin board but did not buy a pair of binoculars and start birding until his mid-twenties. When he wanted to know more, he took Joe Morlan's bird identification classes in San Francisco and joined the local Audubon Society. He is a knowledgeable birder, not an expert.

His birding resume includes censusing for two breeding bird atlases, co-leading a Golden Gate Audubon Society (GGAS) birding backpack trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park for thirty-plus years, and finding at least 150 birds in each of California's 58 counties. He was on the board of directors of GGAS in the 1980s, and is a co-author of the Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas. He works as a psychologist in private practice and lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Carol. Together they have three children and three grandchildren, all of whom live nearby.

Photo of Robin Pulich, illustrator

Robin Pulichillustrator

Robin Pulich is an artist, writer, attorney, wildlife rehabilitator and old rose gardener. Her favorite pastimes of hiking, camping, and birdwatching shape the focus of her art. For over twenty years she has cared for injured and orphaned hummingbirds, poorwills, and small songbirds such as kinglets and warblers in her home and backyard aviary as a volunteer for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. She resides in Berkeley, California with her husband, Frank.

Golden Gate Audubon Society

Founded in 1917, Golden Gate Audubon Society engages people to:

GGAS serves the county of San Francisco and East Bay communities that include Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and Richmond.

We lead over 100 free field trips that are open to the public each year. Our Eco-Education program provides hands-on nature education to over 700 elementary schoolchildren in low-income areas of San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond. GGAS volunteers are helping restore wetlands habitat at Pier 94 in San Francisco and Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland.

GGAS advocates for birds on a number of fronts, including protection of endangered California Least Terns in Alameda, Western Snowy Plovers in San Francisco, and Golden Eagles and other raptors that are threatened by wind turbines at the Altamont Pass.

For more information about Golden Gate Audubon’s activities, please see

One-half of the sales proceeds of Why We Bird goes to support the conservation and education activities of GGAS.