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.
David Cabot is an Irish naturalist and writer. He was educated at University College, Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied natural sciences, going on to University College, Galway, where he obtained a PhD in ecology of bird parasites while lecturing in Zoology. For twenty years he worked as an ecologist and was responsible for Ireland's National Heritage Inventory, developing nature conservation policy, later also as special environmental advisor to two Irish Prime Ministers. An all-round field naturalist and ecologist, he specialises in wildfowl and seabirds, enjoying the arduous life of fieldwork on islands, in the Arctic and other wild places. He lives in County Mayo, on the edge of the Atlantic.