The Orkneys have been strangely neglected by naturalists when compared to Shetland or Western Scotland, although they have long been a place of pilgrimage for archaeologists and historians. This work seeks to make available the islands' animals, plants and scenic history to casual readers as well as specialists. The Orkney Islands are a special place, both in terms of their natural history and human inhabitants. Their rich coastal habitats lost significant seabird colonies and marine communities. Their northerly position provides a major land fall for migratory birds. In human terms, traditional lifestyles of fishing and crafting vie with modern industries, such as oils, leading to conflicts of both human and wildlife conservation dimensions.