Visiting all the world's seas, the 125 species of albatross and petrel are the most oceanic and widespread of all seabirds. The nesting islands tenanted by these remarkable birds include some of the remotest atolls and some of the bleakest ice-bound Antarctic islands on the planet. Despite their penchant for the remote, petrels are now well studied ashore during breeding and, thanks to the rapid development of satellite tracking and similar techniques, when they roam the high seas. In this comprehensive and elegantly written book, Michael Brooke, who has visited some 40 countries in pursuit of birds, has brought together a wealth of information on all aspects of the biology of the species. He considers why Short-tailed Shearwaters nesting off Australia make regular 10,000 km round trips to Antarctica to harvest a single meal for their chicks, and he discusses the fearsome threat posed to most of the world's 21 albatross species by modern fishing techniques, especially long-lining. Following the ten introductory chapters come 125 individual species accounts, each accompanied by a detailed distribution map. These accounts are the most accessible and up-to-date summaries of each species' biology currently available. The book is enhanced by 16 color plates and many delightful line drawings by John Cox, and the text is also liberally illustrated with photographs. Albatrosses and Petrels Across the World will appeal to all seabird enthusiasts, whether non-specialists keen to learn more of the species that can be seen on a pelagic cruise, or professionals eager to discover how the extraordinary lifestyles of albatrosses and petrels are adaptations to a life on the ocean waves.
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