Threading together science and poetry with a sense of wonder, Adam Nicolson’s
The Seabird’s Cry reminds us that these birds are always there at the edge of our existence: at once familiar and utterly mysterious ... The elegance of the writing, and the very human curiosity and compassion for the seabirds themselves, is enthralling. As Mr. Nicolson sets out to explore 'the ways in which seabirds exert their hold on the human imagination,' we are enlightened by a wealth of expert and amateur voices ... and by Mr. Nicolson’s sustained and powerful cry for a greater understanding and empathy of [the seabirds'] unique environments.
[Adam Nicolson] is one of the publishing world's most reliably entertaining polymaths, and in this latest book, he turns his attention to the 350 bird species...that have colonized the windswept coastlines, raw rock outcrops, and open oceans of the planet ... throughout The Seabird's Cry, Nicolson regularly offers a narrative counterpoint to that hard world. He travels to the places where these strangest of all birds make their homes, and he does what all the best natural history writers do: he conveys to his readers the immediacy of these creatures.
for all Nicolson’s determination to celebrate the cultural significance of birds that have magnetised his mind, there’s a proper dose of gritty reality here too, not just in his horror that 'science is coming to understand the seabirds just as they are dying.' This is a visceral book ... his writing is expansive, generous and beautifully composed, rather than elitist.