Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” Filming Locations in Bodega Bay

Potter Schoolhouse

Loosely based on a Daphne du Maurier short story, Hitchcock's "The Birds" helped put Bodega Bay on the map.

After filming “Shadow of a Doubt” in Santa Rosa, Alfred Hitchcock returned to Sonoma County in 1963 to film “The Birds,” which became one of the director’s most notable movies. While the thriller was primarily shot at the former Potter Schoolhouse on Bodega Lane in the town of Bodega, there were several other prominent local establishments and businesses featured throughout the film.

Birds swimming in Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay

Potter Schoolhouse, Bodega

Built in 1873, the Potter Schoolhouse, with its soaring white wood building, played a prominent role in the film. Then, it was a local community center, inn, restaurant, and guesthouse. The property was abandoned the year before Hitchcock decided to film, and was essentially saved by the movie. Today, it’s a private residence. We ask that all visitors respect the privacy of the current owners by not approaching the property. 

The white church in Bodega
St. Teresa of Avila church

St. Teresa of Avila Church, Bodega

Directly in front of the schoolhouse sits St. Teresa of Avila Church. The church was built in 1860 on a hilltop overlooking Bodega Bay, and was then made famous by the Ansel Adams photograph “Church and Road” in 1953. It’s featured in the background of several pivotal scenes throughout the film. 

Fun Fact: Many locals have stated that Hitchcock actually attended church services at St. Teresa of Avila while filming the movie.

Three flags fly in front of the restaurant
The Tides Wharf & Restaurant

The Tides Wharf & Restaurant, Bodega Bay

The boat dock and restaurant scenes in “The Birds” were filmed in and around The Tides Wharf & Restaurant. According to The Inn at the Tides, the 1960s owner of The Tides, Mitch Zankich, had Hitchcock agree to three stipulations before he allowed him to film on his property: the town in the movie would be called “Bodega Bay,” the male lead would be named “Mitch,” and that Zankich would receive a speaking part in the film.

The restaurant has since been remodeled, but preserves the film’s legacy by featuring a small replica of its original facade in the gift shop. 

Valley Ford

One of the film’s most iconic scenes is when Lydia (played by Jessica Tandy) discovers her neighbor Dan’s body. This scene was filmed on a farm in the small town of Valley Ford. Set in the heart of Sonoma County’s dairy belt, Valley Ford is a quaint community rooted in history. Here, you can experience what life was like while filming “The Birds” by lodging at the Valley Ford Hotel, which was originally built in 1864, and spending time exploring the downtown area.

Hitchcock “The Birds” Celebration

Each year, the Artisans’ Co-op of Bodega celebrates “The Birds” with a large-scale event as well as special art inspired by the film. Happening just down the street from the Potter Schoolhouse, this event is a fantastic way to support the local artists in Bodega Bay while also learning about the film and what it means to the people of Sonoma County.

Discover more historic cultural sites in Sonoma County.

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