Bruce Wright is winging in on a genre that already has its expert practitioners in Allan Eckert (The Great Auk, The Silent Sky) Robert Murphy (The Peregrine Falcon, The GoLden Eagle), and Franklin Russell (Argen the Gull). It is the new genre of conservationist fiction, and in this instance the author writes without much style but with a good deal of close knowledge about his subject. A particular bird, a large male black duck, is his hero, and he sees him through the unusual span of ten years. There is mating and migrating, coping With man the hunter and trapper, surviving the stresses of nature--hard winter, gale. Then there is progress to deal with in the form of destroyed nesting sites and, even more sinister in its destructiveness, the pesticides which, ingested, settle in the organs and undermine the new generation. In telling the story of his protagonist (who meets his end at the hands of a boy hunter), Bruce Wright also describes much of the surrounding life, present in the ways of the walrus, the raccoon, etc., past in the fate of the great auk and the seamink. But it is current dangers which are his first concern here.