Arctic birds have long held a fascination for Richard Vaughan, whose trips to the region, watching and photographing birds, have provided the raw material for a number of previous publications. Here, he focuses on the historical aspects of Arctic ornithology, bringing to life not only the birds but the activities of those who have lived with them, or explored in search of them. A general introduction to the Arctic and the forces that shape its bird populations and their biology is followed by sections on native peoples, whaling and discovery ships, and the famous ornithologists who have investigated these often inhospitable habitats. Conservation, both of individual species and of habitats, is discussed against the background of threats to the Arctic environment. Since half the Arctic lies in Russia, detailed consideration is naturally given to Arctic bird studies in that country, as well as in North America and Greenland. Purely ornithological interludes look in detail at the Gyrfalcon, Knots, Ross's Gull, geese, divers, Snowy Owls and many more. The book includes practical advice on how to visit the Arctic and where and when to go. Richard Vaughan's own photographs and the drawings of Swedish artist Gunnar Brusewitz do real justice to the beauty of both the environment and its birds. Illustrated by Gunnar Brusewitz.

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