Whether it is the sight of the summer’s first Swallow or the sound of a spring Cuckoo, the return of our summer migrants delivers a reassuring sense of a globe that, as the poet Ted Hughes once described, ‘is still working’. That birds should undertake such long and dangerous migratory journeys is something that has long fascinated us, prompting works of art and literature, not to mention many thousands of scientific studies.
The BTO’s Flight Lines project, a joint initiative with the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), highlights through art and narrative the challenges that migrant birds face and brings to a wider audience the research and conservation work that is being done to help them.
By pairing artists, storytellers and photojournalists with the researchers and volunteers studying our summer migrants, the book tells the stories of our migrant birds, and the work being done to secure a future for them. Includes artwork by SWLA member artists Carry Akroyd, Kim Atkinson, Federico Gemma, Richard Johnson, Szabolcs Kokay, Harriet Mead, Bruce Pearson, Greg Poole, Dafila Scott, Jane Smith, John Threlfall, Esther Tyson, Matt Underwood, Michael Warren, Darren Woodhead and others.
"[...] Whilst being in depth and detailed, the content is clear and easy to understand, making this BTO research accessible to a wider audience. It covers a wide range of factors that influence migration [...] Whilst the science in this book is incredibly interesting and enlightening, it is the art that brings it to life. The range of unique artistic styles, with a variety of media [...] This book is an excellent, engaging read for anyone wishing to find out more about our summer migrants and the work of BTO, seamlessly bringing together art and science."
– Sorrel Lyall, BTO book reviews