The Seabird’s Cry
The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers
WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2018
WINNER OF THE JEFFERIES AWARD FOR NATURE WRITING 2017
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 Kate Boxer.
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. 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 little but a memory.
‘An exquisitely written paean to ten ocean-going birds … make no mistake, this is a clever book … a call to arms against the loss of this crucial part of our rich natural heritage’, Books of the Year, The Times
‘An extraordinary book, nothing less than a masterpiece’ Financial Times
‘Gorgeous book, a poetic soaring exploration of 10 species of seabirds…Generous and beautifully composed’ Observer
‘No one has previously captured the essence of seabirds, of their habitats or their lives, with such poignancy or perception as Adam Nicolson in this fine book…[He] takes us on an extraordinary, constantly changing journey through the history, literature and biology of their lives…[His] exuberance for seabirds is infectious…inspirational’ BBC Wildlife
‘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
‘Full of fascinating and often gruesome details…[he] 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…Nicolson has accorded them this book. Its excellence constitutes some small recompense’ Evening Standard
‘It isn’t sufficient to say that Nicolson writes well about birds. He is dizzyingly, dazzlingly good’ Sunday Herald
‘Beautiful and engrossing book…written with verve and weathered with wonder…there is no one I’d rather read writing about these creatures…the bigness of our author’s excitements and passions is…abundant in this clear-sighted yet loving book and it is magnificent to have’ Country Life
'Breathtaking…[Nicolson] has an intuitive understanding of the birds that feels almost uncanny…presents…research in a way that is not just comprehensible but compelling, even moving…His swithering between the forensic and the poetic creates a sense of wonder' Spectator
Dark and sad
This is a sad book, about the decline and struggles of seabirds and the darker nature of their lives. Its probably a stark depiction of the reality but it was too sad for me to read in full.