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Eye of the Albatross: Visions of Hope and Survival
by Carl Safina
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I'm in love with Safina. I want him to write more books, right away. I want to sell all my worldly goods and devote my life to saving birds.
Safina's a delicious prose stylist with a clear, burning passion for animals. Highly recommended.
I wasn't taken by this book - perhaps beacause I'm not a bird lover. However, I've always respected Safina's passion and commiment to the sustainability of our oceans and environment. 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. I'll continue reading Safina's works for these moments. He's also a fantastic speaker/presenter. It's worth Youtubing his work if you're interested.
Carl Safina takes us on a long journey over the oceans with Amelia, an albatross who's been tagged so she can be followed by satellite. In the process, we learn not only about the incredible voyages of the albatross, but of the complex and fascinating ocean ecosystem that she depends on. Unfortunately, the human impact on the oceans, and all the life that depends on them, cannot be ignored -- wasteful and unsustainable fishing practices, the tons of plastic garbage that wind up in the water, the depredation of island and atoll habitats. It has been a couple of years since I read this book, but certain descriptions -- such as that of a mother albatross unable to feed her chick because a toothbrush is stuck in her throat, or how the Japanese almost exterminated colonies of albatross by hunting them -- will never be forgotten. Despite some truly horrible (though they need to be said) descriptions, the book's subtitle is "Visions of Hope and Survival," and some of my favorite parts involved researchers who are trying to help the species, such as a Japanese biologist who is striving to restore an albatross colony. Everyone who loves birds -- or the ocean -- should read this book!
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Wikipedia in English (4)
Eye of the Albatross takes us soaring to locales where whales, sea turtles, penguins, and shearwaters flourish in their own quotidian rhythms. Carl Safina's guide and inspiration is an albatross he calls Amelia, whose life and far-flung flights he describes in fascinating detail. 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. Safina's perceptive and authoritative portrait results in a transforming ride to the ends of the Earth for the listener, as well as an eye-opening look at the health of our oceans.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)551 — Natural sciences and mathematics Earth sciences & geology Geology, Hydrology Meteorology
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