Looking for Seabirds: Journal from an Alaskan Voyage

Looking for Seabirds: Journal from an Alaskan Voyage

by Sophie Webb
     
 

To human eyes, the remote Aleutian Islands of Alaska look barren and rocky. The waters seem frigid, the high, sweeping winds intolerable, and the seas rolling. Yet to seabirds of the northern hemisphere, these waters are idyllic, a mosaic of habitats teeming with underwater food and alive with currents of wind for soaring. Join Sophie Webb on a voyage in search of

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Overview

To human eyes, the remote Aleutian Islands of Alaska look barren and rocky. The waters seem frigid, the high, sweeping winds intolerable, and the seas rolling. Yet to seabirds of the northern hemisphere, these waters are idyllic, a mosaic of habitats teeming with underwater food and alive with currents of wind for soaring. Join Sophie Webb on a voyage in search of seabirds. Just as she did with her award-winning My Season with Penguins, she once again inspires our curiosity. As she watches for, writes about, and paints the graceful mottled petrel, the huge black-footed albatross, or the clownish tufted puffin, she makes tangible the delicacy yet hardiness of these seabirds—creatures that have been on the earth much longer than humans yet remain vulnerable to disturbances in the health of the ocean.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The 'you-are-there' immediacy of the narrative (the swells of the rough sea are particularly evocative) and the clear and colorful water-color-and-gouache landscapes and drawings of birds form an appealing travelogue that is as exciting as it is informative." School Library Journal, Starred

"The text and accompanying watercolors are just as brimming with gritty details." Booklist, ALA

School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-In this companion to My Season with Penguins (Houghton, 2000), the artist/biologist records her part in another fascinating expedition. This time her detailed and lushly illustrated journal entries take readers on a month-long springtime voyage through the Aleutian Islands on the Alpha Helix, a 133-foot-long research vessel. Webb's job is to count and observe resident seabirds (alcids, fulmars, tubenoses) and migrating species that come to the Arctic to breed and feed. Readers are introduced to a variety of pelagic creatures and learn a bit about the fragile Arctic marine ecosystem. They also get an inside look at the technology and the trials and tribulations of such a research project. The "you-are-there" immediacy of the narrative (the swells of the rough seas are particularly evocative) and the clear and colorful watercolor-and-gouache landscapes and drawings of the birds form an appealing travelogue that is as exciting as it is informative.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Readers take an Alaskan cruise in this follow-up to Sibert Honor winner My Season with Penguins (2000). In this go-round, ornithologist Webb finds herself on a research vessel counting seabirds as part of an exploration of the marine life around the Aleutian Island chain. It shares many of its strengths with its predecessor: meticulous watercolor illustrations, a journal format, and an engagingly direct way of communicating both the science-"Imagine if a bird population dropped drastically in a certain area; it could indicate that there is a severe decline in the productivity, or food supply, in the ocean for some reason"-and how that science is discovered-"Jaime . . . records, I count the Least Auklets, and George . . . counts anything different. I get so excited that my binoculars steam up." If the nature of this expedition-counting many seabirds instead of concentrating on one species of penguin-necessarily causes the focus of this offering to be less sharp than the previous one, it still provides both author and reader a valuable opportunity to spend time in the process of research. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618212354
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/22/2004
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile:
1020L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Sophie Webb is often at sea. Research ships have taken her to many shores, including those of Hawaii, Mexico, Central and South America, Alaska, and the Antarctic. Her ornithological illustrations appear in A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, of which she is co-author. She lives in Bolinas, California.

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