The Seabird's Cry by Adam Nicolson

The Seabird's Cry

byAdam Nicolson

Hardcover | July 18, 2017

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The full story of seabirds from one of the greatest nature writers. The book looks at the pattern of their lives, their habitats, the threats they face and the passions they inspire - beautifully illustrated by artist Kate Boxer.'I was entranced. It is a work that takes wing in the mind' ROBERT MACFARLANESeabirds have always entranced the human imagination and Adam Nicolson has been in love with them all his life: for their mastery of wind and ocean, their aerial beauty and the unmatched wildness of the coasts and islands where every summer they return to breed.Over the last couple of decades, modern science has begun to understand them: their epic voyages, their astonishing abilities to navigate for tens of thousands of miles on a featureless sea, their ability to smell their way towards fish and home. Only the poets in the past would have thought of seabirds as creatures riding the ripples and currents of the planet, but that is what the scientists are seeing now too.In ten chapters, each dedicated to a different bird, and each beautifully illustrated by Kate Boxer, The Seabird's Cry travels the ocean paths along with them, looking at the way their bodies work, the sense of their own individuality, the strategies and tactics needed to survive and thrive in the most demanding environment on earth.At the heart of the book are the Shiant Isles, a cluster of Hebridean islands in the Minch but Nicolson has pursued the birds much further - across the Atlantic, up the west coast of Ireland, to St Kilda, Orkney, Shetland, the Faeroes, Iceland and Norway; to the eastern seaboard of Maine and to Newfoundland, to the Falklands, South Georgia, the Canaries and the Azores - reaching out across the widths of the world ocean which is the seabirds' home.But a global tragedy is unfolding. Even as we are coming to understand them, the number of seabirds is in freefall, dropping by nearly 70% in the last sixty years, a billion fewer now than there were in 1950. Of the ten birds in this book, seven are in decline, at least in part of their range. Extinction stalks the ocean and there is a danger that the grand cry of a seabird colony, rolling around the bays and headlands of high latitudes, will this century become little but a memory.

About The Author

Adam Nicolson is a prize-winning writer of many books on history, nature and the countryside including Sea Room, God's Secretaries, The Gentry and the acclaimed The Mighty Dead. He is winner of the Royal Society of LIterature's Ondaatje prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the W.H. Heinemann Award and the British Topography Prize. He has...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Seabird's CryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:228 pagesPublished:July 18, 2017Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0008165696

ISBN - 13:9780008165697

Customer Reviews of The Seabird's Cry


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Editorial Reviews

'I was entranced - my mind thrilling to the veers and lifts of thought, to the beautiful deftness of the prose. This marvellous book inhabits with graceful ease both the mythic and the scientific, and remains alert to the vulnerability of these birds as well as to their wonder. It is a work that takes wing in the mind' Robert Macfarlane'The Seabird's Cry is a magnificent book and takes its place all at once among the greatest of modern bird books; page after page of extraordinary power, amazing mastery of the science, scintillating and muscled retelling of countless maps and graphs, Nicolson has got the truth better even than those who dug it up; an imaginative reach and original inhabiting of what he has seen, the birds themselves; so enamoured of life it makes you cry; so big with the bigness it finds; and quite wonderful; no one else is doing this or has; it is utterly brilliant' Tim Dee, author of 'The Running Sky and Poetry for Birds''Nicolson writes with a heart full of poetry and a head full of science. He is up to speed with recent seabird research and tells the tales with relish' Mail on Sunday'Powerful . fascinating . his beautiful and often stark vignettes of love, loss and cruelty in the world of seabirds make empathy possible by showing us ways in which their lives are like our own' The Times'Full of fascinating and often gruesome details . this compelling book, Nicolson succeeds in expressing his sense of awe at these magnificent creatures' Sunday Times'Though seabirds have ridden the surf and skies for 100 million years we are now casually wiping them out. In the past six decades their numbers have fallen by 70 per cent. On the other hand, Nicolson has accorded them this book. Its excellence constitutes some small recompense' Evening Standard