This book in the respected New Naturalist series is the first book on the natural history of terns to be published since 1934. It covers in detail the five tern species that breed in Britain and Ireland; three of these (Common, Roseate and Arctic Terns) also breed in North America and the other two (Little and Sandwich Terns) have close relatives here. There are also four chapters on terns of the world; single chapters on history, conservation, passage migrants and vagrants; appendices on demography and research; and a bibliography of more than 500 references. It is lavishly illustrated with color photographs, many of which depict key aspects of behavior.
This New Naturalist volume provides a much-anticipated overview of these fascinating birds - the first book on the natural history of British and Irish terns since 1934. 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 their most attractive features. Most of the five species of terns breeding in Britain and Ireland today are under intensive management, involving protection from predators, human interference, egg-collecting, recreational activities, land-use changes, and a range of issues concerning climate change, including rising sea levels and flooding of low-lying colonies. If these protective measures were abandoned then the numbers of terns would inevitably decline, with the possibility of several species ending up on the endangered list. Covering the history of terns in Britain and Ireland, David Cabot and Ian Nisbet explore these diverse issues as well as offering a comprehensive natural history of these stunning seabirds. Drawing on a wealth of new information and research, the authors focus on migrations, food and feeding ecology as well as breeding biology and behaviour. Perhaps most importantly, they highlight recent conservation issues and prospects, and what this means for the future of terns.