Next to Louis Darling's arresting The Gull's Way, this is a washout; in comparison with the sort of systematic yet informal photo-study that Lilo Hess has perfected, it is formless and featureless. As a slender volume with large print and many pictures, it should be a suitable introduction for young children--yet the most informative section treats of behavior patterns in terms of concepts like displacement (""the gull father is doing one thing when he really wants to do another"") that are neither basic to the subject nor peculiar to gulls (although the text doesn't say so). This section is designated Two but not labelled; there are no topical divisions anywhere and, in the first half, little topical development, just helterskelter specifics about Various kinds of gulls. In only a few instances do the photos enhance the text except as decorations; much that is mentioned is not illustrated, some things that are illustrated are not integral (e.g. a hawk holding a kangaroo rat opposite reference to the rat as preying on gulls). The younger child will benefit more from Alice Goudey's Graywings, the older one from The Gull's Way (notwithstanding the fact that it focuses on the herring gull), while the middle child will make out better with any of many bird books.