This summer, a new exhibit in San Francisco’s Presidio celebrates one of the world’s most diverse urban bird habitats. From July 9 through August 29, “Birds of the Pacific Slope: Sights and Songs” fills the galleries of the Presidio Officers’ Club to highlight the Presidio’s importance as habitat for more than 200 bird species and as a rest stop on the Pacific Flyway. Four large exhibits illustrate the urban park’s diversity from the early 19th century—when this area was primarily dune scrub—to the present. On view are lithographs of watercolors by Andrew Jackson Grayson, a renowned bird painter in North America between 1853 and 1869, offering a glimpse into avian life in the Presidio before trees were planted in the late 1800s and the adjacent bay marshes were filled. Grayson’s field notes accompany each lithograph. Other galleries feature contemporary artwork depicting Pacific birds, a dawn chorus recorded at the Presidio’s Lobos Creek, kids’ activities, and displays by Bay Area bird conservation organizations. The free exhibition, complemented by Wednesday evening programs and Saturday bird walks, is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.presidio.gov.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ July-September 2004