Why Do Seabirds Eat Plastic? It Smells Like Fish to Them
A sweeping look at 10 species of seabirds gives insight into why their numbers have plummeted over the past 60 years.
The Shiants, remote, cliff-edged islands off the coast of Scotland, are home to 350,000 seabirds, including great auks, puffins, and razorbills. This is the starting point for National Geographic contributor Adam Nicolson’s new book, The Seabird’s Cry. Celebrating 10 species in detail, he describes the incredible resilience of seabirds and the many adaptations that have enabled them to survive and navigate the oceans, while sounding a clarion call for their conservation amid dramatically falling numbers.
Speaking from his home in Sussex, England, Nicolson explains how guillemot colonies are information exchange centers; how new research is showing that those ultimate long-distance travelers, the shearwaters, “smell” their way across the globe; and what we can do to support seabird populations.