New Naturalist Terns provides a much-anticipated overview of these fascinating birds.
Terns are small seabirds that are commonly seen along coastlines and estuaries in the summer months - their graceful flight and command of the air are among the most attractive features of the coastal experience.
Terns are closely related to gulls and resemble them in their grey and white plumage, but are smaller and more graceful. They feed exclusively on the wing, diving headlong into the water to catch small fish, or dipping to pick small crustaceans or insects from the surface. They even drink while on the wing, gliding down repeatedly to dip their bills into the water surface. Unlike gulls, they do not feed on land or while swimming – in fact, they rarely settle on the water except briefly while bathing and at times in their winter quarters.
In this New Naturalist volume, David Cabot and Ian Nisbet draw on a wealth of new information and research, providing a comprehensive natural history of terns. Covering the history of terns in Britain and Ireland, the authors focus on migrations, food and feeding ecology as well as breeding biology. Perhaps most importantly, they highlight recent conservation issues and prospects, and what this means for the future of terns.