Mrs. Hancock's husband David is a wildlife biologist and filmmaker who has been involved in observing, shipping, and raising specimens of aquatic birds and animals along the Canadian Northwest coast and this is the account of some recent ventures. The Hancocks in their pursuit of northern exotica -- the multicolored puffin, the rhino auklet, murre, eagles -- clamber up steep cliffs; plunge through icy waters and encounter all sorts of mechanical and natural emergencies. Added to which is caring for a home menagerie including Sam the Seal nurtured from an abandoned pup. Mrs. Hancock is a likable, unpretentious, modest guide -- too modest, perhaps, for one wonders what David would do without his earnest spouse. Although she is apt to fall in the water, screech while cutting up fish, and slide down cliffs upended, she toils cheerfully away in a good cause. And she still has heart for enjoying a garden retinue of murre chicks, ""twelve immaculate little men in black tie and tails."" The Hancocks' studies have resulted in two films and some pertinent conclusions concerning conservation -- particularly about how the Santa Barbara oil spill affected eagle life. With photographs, an informative and pleasant report.