Books  Zoology  Ornithology  Non-Passerines  Seabirds, Shorebirds & Wildfowl 

RSPB Seabirds

Flora / Fauna

By: Marianne Taylor(Author), David Tipling(Illustrator)

240 pages, 300 colour photos

Bloomsbury Publishing

Hardback | Sep 2014 | #215415 | ISBN-13: 9781472909015
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £24.99 $32/€27 approx

About this book

Seabirds are the living links between land, air and sea. They enjoy a freedom that even humans, with all our technological assistance, can barely imagine. Many species travel mind-boggling distances across the length and breadth of our planet before returning to land to breed in large, deafening and confusingly crowded colonies. Yet within this commotion each mated pair forms a bond of extreme closeness and tenderness that survives separation each winter and may persist for decades.

The long and geologically varied coastline of the British Isles provides homes for internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds. Visiting their colonies is always unforgettable, whether they are cliff-faces packed with Guillemots, islands white-capped by clustered Gannets on their nests, flat beaches crowded with screaming Arctic Terns or seaside rooftops overlaid with a second townscape of nesting gulls. The changing fortunes of these seabird cities reveal to us the health of the vast, unseen but incredibly rich marine world that surrounds us.

RSPB Seabirds showcases some of our most exciting and enigmatic bird species as vital and living components of one of our greatest natural assets: our coastline. The author presents detailed biographies of all the seabird species that breed in and around the British Isles, and also looks at the many species that breed elsewhere but which, regularly or occasionally, visit British waters. Every page of this sumptuous book features beautiful photographs of wild seabirds engaged in their daily work of hunting, travelling, protecting themselves and their territories, courting and raising a family.

"a superb new book [...] packed with fascinating information on how the birds around our coast are faring."
Scotland Outdoors

"This wonderful book is an inspiring, new resource for sea-birdwatchers of all abilities and interest and deserves a place in the home of every birder."
Surf Birds

"Marianne Taylor does an excellent job of providing evocative and informative descriptions of every species [...] the text is greatly enhanced by superb photographs."
BBC Wildlife

"brilliant [...] excellent for any birder's Christmas stocking."
Bird Watching


Introduction 7
Seaducks 13
Eider 14
Common Scoter 20
Red-breasted Merganser 25
Other seaducks 28
Divers and grebes 35
Red-throated Diver 36
Black-throated Diver 40
Great Crested Grebe 42
Slavonian Grebe 46
Other divers and grebes 48
Tubenoses 53
Fulmar 54
Manx Shearwater 60
European Storm-petrel 66
Leach’s Storm-petrel 71
Other tubenoses 75
Gannets, cormorants and relatives 83
Gannet 84
Cormorant 90
Shag 96
Other related species 102
Phalaropes 105
Grey Phalarope 106
Skuas 109
Arctic Skua 110
Great Skua 116
Other skuas 123
Gulls 127
Kittiwake 128
Mediterranean Gull 134
Black-headed Gull 136
Common Gull 140
Lesser Black-backed Gull 144
Herring Gull 150
Yellow-legged Gull 156
Great Black-backed Gull 158
Other gulls 164
Terns 173
Little Tern 174
Sandwich Tern 180
Roseate Tern 186
Common Tern 190
Arctic Tern 196
Other terns 202
Auks 207
Guillemot 208
Razorbill 214
Black Guillemot 220
Puffin 226
Other auks 232
Recommended reading 235
Bibliography 235
Acknowledgements 238
Photographic credits 238
Index 239

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Marianne Taylor is a freelance writer, illustrator, photographer and editor. Marianne grew up in the seaside town of Hastings in Sussex, and from an early age she could be found watching and scribbling notes about the behaviour of the Herring Gulls nesting outside her sister's bedroom window. A passion for all wildlife, but especially birds and most especially seabirds, has been a driving force in her life ever since. Marianne worked in publishing for seven years before taking the plunge as a freelancer in 2007. Since then she has written 19 books for adults and children on a range of natural history subjects.

Renowned cameraman David Tipling has worked as a freelance wildlife photographer since 1992. David travels extensively photographing some of the world's most iconic wildlife and one of his specialities is the birds of our seas and oceans. His many awards include the prestigious Nature Photographer of the Year. David's work has featured in countless magazines and newspapers and he has been author or commissioned photographer for more than forty books on birds and wildlife photography.

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