Berkeley Public Library goes “Birds-erkeley!”

May 12, 2022

Contact: Tess Mayer
Director of Library Services
Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley Public Library goes “Birds-erkeley!”

Berkeley, California (May 12, 2022) – Berkeley Public Library has gone to the birds! A series of educational, bird-themed programs are happening in May, several geared to adults (and bird-loving teens) and one for children. In addition, patrons will be able to check out binoculars beginning May 21.

“With Annie’s brief disappearance, Grinnell’s death, Alden’s appearance and the newest chicks just hatching, it has been a dramatic year for the Cal falcons,” says librarian Kelsey Ockert. “Berkeley residents have been really invested in the falcons and we have received many calls to our reference line with all kinds of bird questions.”

Children’s librarian, Emma Coleman agrees, “It has been a pleasure connecting patrons with library resources on birds and to collaborate on these upcoming series of library events with bird experts.”

“Birds-erkeley” events in May:

Popping the Science Bubble Scientist Lecture Series, Tuesday, May 17, 5:30pm

Do New Bird Species Arise? A time travel in the Pacific West Forest
Silu Wang, PhD Zoologist and current Postdoc at UC Berkeley & UC Davis


A Bird's Eye View of Behavior and Physiology: How Zebra Finches Cope with Stress
Devon Comito, Integrative Biologist at UC Berkeley


Keeping up with the Campanile: The Peregrine Falcons of UC Berkeley, Thursday, May 19, 6:30pm

Ornithologists Lynn Schofield and Sean Peterson of the Cal Campanile falcon webcam discuss the major life events of the famous falcons as well as explore the biological context for what viewers see on the webcam.

Cal Falcons Family Program, Saturday, May 21, 2022, 3:30pm

Ornithologists Lynn and Sean return to teach our younger patrons about the falcons and how to watch birds and other creatures with or without binoculars.

Brilliant Birds and their Brains, May 24, 2022, 11:00am
Behavioral neuroscientists at the University of Tübingen, Germany, will discuss the latest research on avian intelligence, including birds' remarkable use of tools, orthographic processing, and memory.

Raptor binoculars (model R385) can be placed on hold in the library’s online catalog for pickup beginning May 21, 2022. The waterproof and fog-proof design has a 390’ field of view at 1000 yards. The adjustable interpupillary distance accommodates a variety of face sizes, including children. A copy of Sibley Birds West: Field Guides to Birds of Western North America and a laminated Field Guide to San Francisco Bay Area Birds will accompany the binoculars.

“The addition of high-quality, user-friendly binoculars to our collections is just one of the many ways that the Library can serve the diverse needs and interests of Berkeley residents,” remarks Tess Mayer, Director of Library Services. “The Library has a long history of offering innovative collections including Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots, telescopes, air quality monitors, bike repair kits, culinary tools and, of course, the beloved tool collection filled with ladders, drills, hedge shearers and more. We look forward to seeing birders of all ages using the binoculars in the neighborhoods and parks throughout our City this summer.”

Thank you to Cal Falcons and the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library for their generous support that makes this programming possible.

Thank you to Lynn Schofield and Sean Peterson for the donation of the binoculars, accompanying book and guide.

Also, thank you to Dr. Silu Wang one of the lecturers on May 17 who is also an artist. Dr. Wang generously donated the following artwork to the Library for use in upcoming programs and promotions:

Dr. Silu Wang, 2022              

For questions regarding the Cal Falcons Family program, please call children’s librarian Emma Coleman at (510) 981-6227. For questions regarding all other “Birds-erkeley” programs, please call adult services librarian Kelsey Ockert at (510) 981-6236.

Note that the May 24th Brilliant Birds and Their Brains event will be virtual but also will be streamed live in the Commons lounge area on the first floor of the Central library. If attending in-person, please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs.

To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for these virtual events, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least five working days will help ensure availability.

For questions about additional Library events, services, hours and locations, please call (510) 981-6100 or visit the Library’s website