Gulls don’t have the kudos of other seabirds—except among the real bird nerds. Not that they’re exclusively seabirds these days. Like those other maligned avians, pigeons, gulls have adapted to the new environments created by our own species’ inexorable expansion. They’ve fitted in, moving into our towns and cities, and especially on to our rubbish dumps.
Tim Dee’s Landfill is a celebration of gulls’ adaptability, and of the urban bird nerds who study them. Thanks to the latter, we now know far more about what gulls get up to in our human-centric environments. Our urban gulls have done well over the last few decades, but changes in waste-disposal practices are beginning to create problems. The gulls will no doubt continue to adapt, but most likely in reduced numbers.
An unusual book, and a thoroughly enjoyable read about an under-appreciated family of birds.
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
—Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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