The Kern River Preserve is a beneficiary of the
extraordinary art and generosity of
internationally known wildlife artist Keith
Hansen of Bolinas, Marin County, California.
Keith specializes in imaginative illustrations
of birds combined with scientific accuracy.
His sketch of a Yellow–billed Cuckoo graces
the masthead of our Friends of the Kern River
Preserve newsletter. His color rendition of a
Yellow–billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, and Willow
Flycatcher serves as an exquisite presence on
our Kern River Preserve T–shirts and
sweatshirts, and as a beautiful unifying theme
on our web site.
Keith’s remarkable, yet believable,
creativity is revealed by way of a close look at
the logo he created in 1991 for the Kern River
Preserve T–shirt, which has since been applied
to our web site. One first notices the stunning
images of a Yellow–billed Cuckoo, Summer
Tanager, and Willow Flycatcher sitting on two
merging branches with several leaves. The first
branch is that of a Fremont cottonwood, favored
by this Yellow–billed Cuckoo and the Summer
Tanager. The second branch is that of a red
willow, favored by the Willow Flycatcher! Keep
looking. Several of the leaves have obviously
been chewed by caterpillars.
But, one should not stop here. Look at the
leaf overlaying the brilliant red Summer
Tanager. The hole in the leaf left by a
caterpillar is in the shape of a perfect
Valentine’s heart! Keep noticing. The
heart–shaped hole is on the wing of the tanager.
This Summer Tanager is wearing its heart on its
sleeve! Incredibly creative, yet no detraction
from the scientific accuracy of the birds,
branch, and leaves themselves. Look for traces
of Keith’s imaginative touches in all of his
work, even the titles.
Keith Hansen’s work has formed the major
artistic contribution to over a dozen books.
Over two hundred of his illustrations have
appeared in various ornithological journals,
magazines, and environmental newsletters
including American Birds, Continental Birdlife,
and Western Birds.
Keith is now the artist for a monumental five
year project. He is creating sixty–seven color
plates portraying 320 species of birds for a
book on the birds of the Sierra Nevada and Mono
Lake being written by Ted Beedy, David Lukas,
and Steve Granholm. This landmark book is
scheduled to be published in the early years of
the new millennium.
Keith Hansen may be reached at his:
Wildlife Gallery and Studio
PO Box 332
Bolinas, CA 94924