Flight Lines: Across the Globe on a Journey with the Astonishing Ultramarathon Birds

Flight Lines: Across the Globe on a Journey with the Astonishing Ultramarathon Birds

by Andrew Darby

Hardcover

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Overview

An trans-world journey with an extraorindary shorebird—from Australia's southern ocean to the Arctic and back—that explores the mysteries of the natural world and its power to heal.

*Winner of the Royal Zoological Society Whitely Award for the Best Natural History Book 2020*

As the sun lowered and turned Gulf St Vincent fiery, they each called a high-pitched 'peeooowiii!', flashed their black wing-pits, spread their tail skirts and took flight...

In a luminous new boook, Andrew Darby follows the odysseys of two seemingly-humble Grey Plovers, little-known migratory shorebirds, as they take previously uncharted ultramarathon flights from the southern coast of Australia to Arctic breeding grounds. On these death-defying flights they dodge predators, typhoons, exhaustion, and countless other dangers before they can breed...and then survive the journey all over again and return south to their feeding grounds. But the greatest threat to these, and other long-distance migrants on the flyway, is China's "dragon economy," which is engulfing their vital Yellow Sea staging spots.

In Flight Lines, we meet the dedicated people of all nationalities and backgrounds working to save these intrepid birds, from Russia to Alaska, from the rim of the Arctic Sea to the coasts of the Southern Ocean. Out of their hard-won science Darby finds hope for the birds—an unexpected bright light for our times.

But his journey to understand these marvellous birds almost ends when he is suddenly diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Then he finds science coming to his rescue too, as his own story and the journey of these little birds intersect in an unexpected and beautiful way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643135762
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 11/03/2020
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 849,594
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Andrew Darby is the author of Harpoon: Into the heart of whaling, and a former correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Table of Contents

List of maps xi

1 Hunting on a no-good shore 1

2 Three letters will do 16

3 Tiny sparks 38

4 The undertone 56

5 The treasure map 69

6 The treasure house 82

7 Perfectly suited 101

8 The white bear bird 110

9 Beringia 136

10 A portion of their secrets 150

11 Now south 165

12 A flick of the dragon's tail 182

13 Lost flocks 203

14 A spoonful of hope 222

15 Navigating the possible 242

16 In harmony with the sun 268

Author's note 276

Notes 278

Index 316

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