What Da Cover Says: Seabirds are master navigators, thriving in the most demanding environment on earth. In this masterly book, drawing on all the most recent research, Adam Nicolson follows them to the coasts and islands of Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and the Americas. Beautifully illustrated by Kate Boxer, The Seabird’s Cry is a celebration of the wonders of the only creatures at home in the air, on land and on the sea. But it also carries a warning: the number of seabirds has dropped by two thirds since 1950. Extinction stalks the ocean and there is a danger that the grand cry of a seabird colony will, this century, become but a memory.
What I Says: For me my knowledge of seabirds isn’t up to much, unless you put in a large amount of effort then you’re not going to see them or even hear the mad cacophony that they produce during their get-togethers. The Puffin has gotta be one of the birds you must see, they’ve got so much character…one of these days I’ll go out amongst people and take a boat trip to check out one of their breeding grounds. Maybe take a few of those pasty-stealing seagulls with be to drop off there.
This book is absolutely crammed full of interesting facts and stories. At first it felt a bit daunting because there is hardly any of the usual life story or anecdotes about how the author fell in love with the birds, this book is all about the birds themselves and how they have influenced people throughout history. Once that first interesting fact comes along the book becomes easy to read.
The experiments that early scientists did are shocking, so inhumane it makes you wonder what the hell was wrong with them, some of the things they did are what serial killers do in their youth. One of the most interesting facts was about plastic and why birds keep eating it, I’ve always thought it was odd as the plastic doesn’t look like fish, turns out smell is an important tool when a bird is hunting and the plastic gives off the same smell as their food. Crazy!
There are lots of photos, illustrations, maps and graphs to accompany the writing and though I didn’t understand how to interpret all of the graphs they really add to the reading experience. This an incredibly well reached book and well deserving of the Wainwright prize that it won. Now who’s got a boat I can borrow?