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Far from Land

The Mysterious Lives of Seabirds

Michael Brooke Bruce Pearson



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Princeton University Pres
16 February 2018
The lives and activities of seabirds as you've never seen them before.

Seabirds evoke the spirit of the earth's wildest places. They spend large portions of their lives at sea, often far from land, and nest on beautiful and remote islands that humans rarely visit. Thanks to the development of increasingly sophisticated and miniaturized devices that can track their every movement and behavior, it is now possible to observe the mysterious lives of these remarkable creatures as never before. This beautifully illustrated book takes you on a breathtaking journey around the globe to reveal where these birds actually go when they roam the sea, the tactics they employ to traverse vast tracts of ocean, the strategies they use to evade threats, and more.

Michael Brooke has visited every corner of the world in his lifelong pursuit of seabirds. Here, he draws on his own experiences and insights as well as the latest cutting-edge science to shed light on the elusive seafaring lives of albatrosses, frigatebirds, cormorants, and other ocean wanderers. Where do puffins go in the winter? How deep do penguins dive? From how far away can an albatross spot a fishing vessel worth following for its next meal? Brooke addresses these and other questions in this delightful book. Along the way, he reveals that seabirds are not the aimless wind-tossed creatures they may appear to be and explains the observational innovations that are driving this exciting area of research.

Featuring illustrations by renowned artist Bruce Pearson and packed with intriguing facts, Far from Land provides an extraordinary up-close look at the activities of seabirds.
By:   Michael Brooke
Illustrated by:   Bruce Pearson
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
Weight:   595g
ISBN:   9780691174181
ISBN 10:   0691174180
Pages:   264
Publication Date:   16 February 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
A Personal Prelude ix1 Introduction to the World's Seabirds: Past Knowledge and New Revelations 12 Taking the Plunge: Seabirds' First Journeys 283 The Meandering Years of Immaturity 424 Adult Migrations: 20,000 Leagues over the Sea 52A Navigational Diversion 805 Tied to Home: Adult Movements during the Breeding Season 856 Wind and Waves: Friend and Foe 1107 Stick or Twist? The Consistent Habits of Individuals 1318 Where Seabirds Find Food 1429 How Seabirds Catch Food 16310 The Clash: Seabird Interactions with People -Past, Present& Future 180Acknowledgements 207List of Bird Species Mentioned and Their Scientific Names 211Notes 215Index 239

Michael Brooke is the Strickland Curator of Ornithology at the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. He is the author of Albatrosses and Petrels across the World and the coeditor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology, and has written widely on science and travel for outlets such as the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian.

Reviews for Far from Land: The Mysterious Lives of Seabirds

Brooke's storytelling skills are first rate, and artist Bruce Pearson's illustrations only further the mesmerizing quality of this project.--Foreword Reviews As an all-encompassing look at the lives of all sort of seabirds, this book would be hard to beat . . . a must-have book for anyone with an interest in the most mysterious of all birds.---Matt Merritt, Bird Watching Magazine A brilliant global overview of seabird behaviour.---Kenny Taylor, BBC Wildlife Magazine In a very approachable and often dazzling book, Michael Brooke blends the seemingly incompatible worlds of romance and science. The book almost reads like a collection of fairy tales, stories from lands far away of almost-mythical creatures.---Mihai Andrei, ZME Science The most up-to-date picture of how seabirds behave when we aren't watching. . . . Beautifully written.---Joe Culley, Irish Times A thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating survey of the world of seabirds - made all the more enjoyable by Bruce Pearson's lovely pen-and-wash illustrations.---Nigel Andrew, Literary Review A milestone that fills an important gap in the available literature on this rapidly expanding field. --Christopher Perrins, editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds This is among the best written popular science books on birds I have come across. Anyone interested in birds will enjoy Far from Land. --Tim Birkhead, coauthor of Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin Seabirds are foragers who venture to sea in search for food. Increasingly, we are learning about their quests thanks to exciting new methods like microelectronic biologging, which Michael Brooke summarizes beautifully in the context of seabirds' natural-history patterns. --David G. Ainley, coeditor of Seabirds of the Farallon Islands Knowledge about the lives of seabirds has taken a quantum leap in the past two decades, with technological advances providing details of seabird activity when they are far from land. Brooke's book engagingly discusses how these recent findings have transformed our understanding of seabird natural history. --George Divoky, founder and director of Friends of Cooper Island Michael Brooke's eminently readable book simply and clearly explains how the digital revolution has transformed our knowledge of the once mysterious lives of seabirds at sea. I'm confident that this entertaining and wide-ranging book will appeal to a broad audience, from the lay public to seabird biologists. --Peter Ryan, director of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town An amazing journey over the horizon with one of our greatest seabird biologists. These new discoveries will be vital for conservation efforts to ensure we continue to share the seas with these magnificent ocean wanderers. --Nick Davies, University of Cambridge For centuries, seafarers have marveled at the ability of seabirds to survive in some of the remotest of the world's oceans. How do these birds find their food? How do they migrate thousands of miles each year? What adaptations and strategies allow them to live in challenging marine environments around the world? These are just some of the questions Brooke answers in this insightful and compelling book. --Dr. Eric Woehler, University of Tasmania Cutting-edge technology has at last enabled scientists to solve the riddle of what seabirds do in winter--far from the eyes of human observers. Michael Brooke writes with passion, humor, and a lifetime's experience, superbly evoking all the mystery and romance of these most alluring of birds. --Katrina van Grouw, author of The Unfeathered Bird [A] marvellous new study.---John Burnside, New Statesman Written with passion and knowledge in equal doses. It is beautifully written, immediately captures interest, is erudite, avoids jargon, and is entertaining with a fair peppering of humour. . . . I cannot think of one good reason why any seabirder - field birders and researchers alike - would want to skip this book. Buy it.---Bob Flood, Birdwatch Magazine His tour of the ecological highlights is gripping in scope and in granular detail gleaned from observations of puffins, penguins, fulmars and more.---Barbara Kiser, Nature If you thought you knew all about seabirds, then think again. This book is absolutely packed with new information.---John Miles, Bird Watching Magazine [Brooke] shares his encyclopedic knowledge with dry wit and fine attention to detail in this absorbing book. . . . His enthusiasm is so infectious that Far from Land is bound to hatch some much-needed new devotees.---Adrian Barnett, New Scientist

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