The Bird of Light

John Hay, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (158p) ISBN 978-0-393-02995-6
Hay, whose sensitive and lyrical essays on nature ( The Immortal Wilderness ) have charmed readers, surpasses himself in this discourse on terns. Beginning with the birds' return to nesting territories in the spring, Hay watches terns through the season; he notes that many favorable sites have been taken over by gulls. He discusses migration (the Arctic tern's route is up to 12,000 miles long), mating and brooding rituals, vocalization, the competition for food. There are marvelous descriptions of sea and sky and coast, all alive with flying creatures. Yet these essays encompass more than bird life--Hay makes a connection between tern and human behavior, showing each species' relation to the environment. This is the work of a poet and philosopher. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-393-31001-6
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