OVERRIDE

Eye of the Albatross

Visions of Hope and Survival

Carl Safina

Holt Paperbacks

Winner of the John Burroughs Medal
A Boston Globe Best Book

At the lonely center of the largest ocean lies a group of islands brimming with wildlife. And there, like a feathered nation, half a million goose-size albatross chicks await foraging parents who may be gone for weeks in search of food. 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.

While scouring the ocean for just one meal for her patiently waiting famished chick, Amelia is carried by her giant wings as many as seven thousand miles from her nest. As we travel with her, Amelia becomes both host and vehicle, sweeping us along on her journeys, sharing the world as an albatross sees it.

Weaving the albatross's metaphorical and real-life powers, Safina blends literature, history, adventure, science, and in-the-moment action. Amelia's travels through space and time connect us with the explorers and hunters, including Charles Darwin, Herman Melville, and James Cook, who first penetrated the remote and forbidding albatross realms. Traveling the trackless ocean, Amelia likewise introduces us to the rhythms of whales and sea turtles, sharks and seals, fishes and seabirds.

Watching a green turtle emerge from the surf wash to breed, we marvel at a creature that makes her first hesitant transition from the float of water to the stranding alienation of land as her ancestors have done for 150 million years. Safina shows us that the drive to survive has carried these creatures through historic ravages of hunters and plunderers, and that despite a slew of new challenges, albatrosses and their ocean neighbors will likely survive long into the future. Amelia's life—the life we all share—is an epic of struggle and hope, of the power of sheer persistence and life's resilience.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Eye of the Albatross
 
 
PRELUDEWHEN THE WIND DROPS in late afternoon, Amelia, already hundreds of miles from land, rises on her own power, flapping more than she'd prefer. With her breast muscles pulling on the long bones of her wings, those wings biting like propellers to pull her through the air, she is using up more of the energy she's here to replenish. After rising on a small gust of breeze, Amelia lets gravity take over the work again, gliding downward and forward like a wind-driven snowflake. When her flight line dips, her wing tip traces a thin line on the sea, leaving
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REVIEWS

Praise for Eye of the Albatross

“Safina delivers a message full of wonder at the natural world and concern about the fragility of his subject . . . He cannot contain his delight in birds, fish, and the profusion of life on the islands he visits.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A beautiful, awe-inspiring tableau of our world as you’ve never seen it . . . a moving depiction of how interconnected life on this planet truly is.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Thought-provoking, witty and beautifully written . . . This is an honest first-person account of field biology in action.” —American Scientist

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Carl Safina

  • 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. He's been profiled by The New York Times, and PBS's Bill Moyers. His books and articles have won him a Pew Fellowship, Guggenheim Award, Lannan Literary Award, John Burroughs Medal, and a MacArthur Prize. He lives in Amagansett, New York.

  • Carl Safina Patricia Paladines
    Carl Safina
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Available Formats and Book Details

Eye of the Albatross

Visions of Hope and Survival

Carl Safina

John Burroughs Medal for Outstanding Natural History Writing

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Holt Paperbacks

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