This is an honest first-person account of field biology in action. Carl Safina's own passion for these amazing creatures infuses the entire book, and the science part reads like a page turner. He lives in Amagansett, New York. The parents will lose up to 20% of their body weight in supplying the chicks. Our narrator in this extraordinary place is Carl Safina; his guide and inspiration is Amelia, a hardworking parent albatross wearing a state-of-the-art satellite tracking transmitter. You will not think of wind in the same way, nor gravity. Safina's portrait combines the authority and drama of Rachel Carson with Peter Matthiessen's perceptive skill.
Centred on Tern Island, a tiny atoll halfway along the Hawaiian chain, research teams are studying the Laysan Albatross, turtles and sharks. Even as we are coming to understand them, the number of seabirds on our planet is in free fall, dropping by nearly 70% in the last 60 years, a billion fewer now than there were in 1950. I found this not only unconvincing but it began, for me, to call into question his seriousness. Their existence utterly depends on the prospect that the winds will continue blowing. Author Biography Carl Safina, author of The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur, Eye of the Albatross: Visions of Hope and Survival, Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World's Coasts and Beneath the Seas, and founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, was named by the Audubon Society one of the leading conservationists of the twentieth century. Being neither an ornithologist nor an amateur birder I went in with modest expectations. Having now read three of Safina's books I can say that he is one of the most poetic and gifted writers living today.
In this dazzling volume, Safina, a MacArthur award recipient, recounts his travels to remote portions of the northwest Hawaiian Islands to witness albatross breeding season, during which parent birds fly across entire oceans—as much as 25,000 miles—to hunt sufficient food to nourish their single chicks. Safina, an insightful, reform-minded, and splendidly literary scientist in the manner of Rachel Carson, employs one particular albatross, dubbed Amelia and outfitted with a transmitter for satellite tracking, as his guide to the ocean world in this riveting marine chronicle. He lives in Amagansett, New York. Like a human's, an albatross's lifetime may endure for many decades. Interwoven with recollections of whalers and famous explorers, Eye of the Albatross probes the unmistakable environmental impact of the encounters between man and marine life. Every few chapters the author returns to Amelia the Laysan albatross and her imagined experiences inferred from satellite signals.
Safina's perceptive and authoritative portrait results in a transforming ride to the ends of the Earth for the reader, as well as an eye-opening look at the health of our oceans. Interwoven with recollections of whalers and famous explorers, Eye of the Albatross probes the unmistakable environmental impact of the encounters between man and marine life. The book highlights those, few, eccentric souls who are trying to right these wrongs by studying and documenting breeding birds A long difficult book about connections: between bird and bird, bird and shark, people and bird. It's amazing how very quickly I got sucked into the plight of the Albatross. For anyone planning to visit Oahu or Kauai--and everyone that lives on those islands--this should be required reading.
Safina is no doomsayer, however. Carl Safina observed this while studying the Laysan Albatross. Now, award-winning author Carl Safina takes us to the higher latitudes to explain what marine animals like the albatross can tell us about the health of our oceans. The stories of human cruelty are relentless and heartbreaking, and yet seem necessary. And at other times he steps back just a little too far from the role he has written for himself. Safina joins as crew aboard the fishing boat Masonic with a particularly enlightened skipper, Mark Lundsten. At one point, Safina watches an albatross chick feeding from the mouth of its mother, just back from a 2,000-mile foraging trip.
If the mate deserts or dies, a bird may sit on an egg for two months, losing a third of its weight before hunger drives it to sea. Amelia is tagged with a small satellite transmitter, and Safina includes maps showing the travels Amelia makes to feed herself and her chick. That is because albatrosses are constructed more to float in the air than to fly. Following albatrosses will enlarge your life, and they will be sure to introduce you to the splendid company they keep; all truly awesome envoys of the magnificence of life on this ocean planet. These are people so devoted that they arrive at the islands wearing clothes freshly pulled from the freezer lest they inadvertently bring ashore some alien grass or ant. It's a tour de force, and I recommend it to you.
On a Sunday in 1856 his device was mounted on a horse-drawn cart and driven downhill at a gallop. Black-browed Albatrosses use no more energy while flying than when brooding a chick upon their nest. As she flies across the Pacific, feeding her chick and herself, Safina recounts the ecological atrocities committed by humans in their search for albatross eggs and feathers; examines how modern fishing practices still threaten marine animals and what steps are being taken This is some of the best nature writing I have ever encountered. In all my lifetime of experiences with birds, no moment was so moving. .
This time he travels to the northwestern Hawaiian islands to talk to people about albatrosses, monk seals, and tiger sharks. He has a beautiful writing style that feels more like a novel. The lesson, Safina writes, is that there are no longer any places on earth unaffected by man. There are moments in this book where the writing is truly poetic, eliciting insights into the links between animals and humans that make you lift your head from the page and pause to think. For instance, the incredible feats of navigation and endurance they achieve to feed themselves and sustain their chicks. His books and articles have won him a Pew Fellowship, Guggenheim Award, Lannan Literary Award, John Burroughs Medal, and a MacArthur Prize.
Although Safina has a penchant for criticizing human economics and uses this case to do so, we can't help but see his point as he continues. For anyone planning to visit Oahu or Kauai--a Everything you wanted to know about albatross. It almost goes without saying that something this beautiful and ancient is embattled. Royals and Wanderers first breed as late as age thirteen. They can fly for many days without stopping, sleeping on the wing, wandering from tropical to subpolar seas in the course of a single foraging run.
I didn't want the book to end. He puts so much time and effort into doing proper research and publishing quality work, he's easily in my top three non fiction authors, I think his books could be given to people who think that non fiction is dry and boring and get them to change their mind. In their realm, whales, sea turtles, sharks, and shearwaters flourish in their own quotidian rhythms. Beautifully written tale of the various species of albatross, whose survival is increasingly vulnerable to modern conditions and the willingness of homo sapiens so-called to change their behavior so that others may live. Masters of long-distance flight, they use less energy soaring over a stormy sea than they do while sitting quietly on their nests. Carl Safina's own passion for these amazing creatures infuses the entire book, and the science part reads like a page turner. He brings the reader into the strange and remote world of Northwest Hawaiian Islands conservation work and doesn't let us go until we have seen everything, including the trash on the beach and the albatross chicks dead on their nest because they have too much plastic in their gut.