Famous for their size and elegance in flight, albatrosses are familiar to anyone who has travelled through the southern oceans, and are a flagship family of conservation concern. However, albatrosses are just one of several groups of 'pelagic' birds - those that visit land only to breed, and spend the rest of their lives far from the coast, soaring from ocean to ocean in a never-ending search for food. Mysterious and graceful, these birds can present a formidable identification challenge to even the most experienced birder. This book provides the answer - the first comprehensive guide to pelagic birds, the albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters, storm-petrels and diving petrels. A total of 46 spectacular colour plates highlight key ID criteria of the birds in flight, with close-ups of diagnostic regions of the plumage. The plates are accompanied by accurate distribution maps, while the sparkling text brings the world of these amazing birds to life. Several extremely rare species, such as Beck's Petrel, are illustrated for the first time, while the New Zealand Storm-petrel, rediscovered as recently as 2004, is also included. Sea-watchers all around the world will find this superb field guide indispensable.
Published: 20 March 2007
Illustrations: 45 plates; four-colour maps throughout
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm