Seabirds of Eastern North Pacific and Arctic Waters, edited by
Delphine Haley (Pacific SEarch Press, Seattle, 1984; $39.95), is a
large-format, 214-page volume that covers the entire West Coast. Where a
field guide offers a thumbnail sketch, this book takes you through a
bird’s daily feeding, grooming, fighting, breeding, and flying.
The information and photographs are all the more remarkable because
the subjects are sea birds, some of which rarely come within sight of
land. If you ever sighted a sooty shearwater on its annual
transhemisphere migration, you’d want to know more. This book
gives it to you.
The research is impeccable, the writing clear and direct, and the
The book is organized by bird family: you’ll find separate
sections for tubenoses (albatrosses, fulmars, shearwaters, petrels),
pelican-like birds, gull-like birds, phalaropes, and alcids. Maps show
distributions; illustrations help you understand bird behavior.
This is a book to read, not just to keep around for reference.