Fragile: Birds, Eggs and Habitats

Colin Prior
A unique, exquisite album documenting birds’ eggs and bird habitats by the renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior
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Publisher's description

Birds' eggs are true wonders of the natural world: they are strong enough to protect the embryo as it develops, yet sufficiently fragile to allow the chick to hatch. Little wonder that the enormous diversity of avian eggs – the amazing range of shapes, sizes, colours and patterns – has long fascinated us. This stunning new book presents remarkable images of birds' eggs by the well-known landscape photographer Colin Prior side by side with his dramatic photographs of the birds' natural habitats. At a time when many human activities are having an adverse impact on the environment, these habitats are equally fragile and vulnerable to change. Loss of habitat is, in turn, a major factor in the decline of wild bird populations. The featured eggs were mostly collected during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and now belong to National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh, which holds one of the world's largest collections of birds' eggs. Each photograph is a composite of between 40 and 80 separate exposures that were blended into a single image using specialist software. The result is an almost three-dimensional rendition of the egg, pin-sharp from the front to the back. The caption beneath each egg details the common and scientific names of the bird, the date the egg was collected, the size of the clutch, and the egg's dimensions. Each egg is shown in a diptych with a photograph of the bird's habitat, painstakingly captured at a time of year when the dominant colours of the landscape most closely resemble those of the egg. An essay by the environmentalist Professor Des Thompson reflects on the state of nature and the threat to habitats and biodiversity, while the curator Bob McGowan writes about the significance of museum egg collections. Fragile not only showcases the inherent beauty of birds' eggs, but also serves as a powerful reminder to protect the birds' natural habitats and thereby the birds themselves.

A unique, exquisite album documenting birds’ eggs and bird habitats by the renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior

Each egg is shown in incredible detail, made possible through the use of the latest digital technology

Promotes a strong conservation message, with essays by experts on biodiversity and ornithology

Essays by Des Thompson and Bob McGowan

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More Information
Dimensions 24.5 x 29 cm
Image Count 250 colour illustrations
Binding Hardcover
Signed Copy No
Publisher Merrell
Date Published 2020
ISBN 13 9781858946887
Edition 1st
No. of Pages 240