The herring gull is one of the most familiar sights along North American shore lines. Like many other common birds and small animals, much remains to be known about gull habits and behavior because so much attention gets focussed on the more exotic wild-life. The author, an enthusiastic bird bander and an established nature writer, was lucky enough to find a gull he had once banded himself just at the start of another project in gull watching and banding. From a blind on an island the gulls favored for mating and nesting, he watched and reported an important phase in the gull cycle of life -- the courtship, mating, brooding and fledgling stages. The publisher has accurately graded this as a book ""for all ages."" Mr. Darling is exceptionally good at communicating the rewards of patience in the continuous observation required of the naturalist and the satisfactions of speculating on the evidence. The methods and equipment required for bird watchers and banders are part of a very readable text which is illuminated at every point with color photographs.