Michelle: Question #1: What’s new?
Darcy: Obviously, PRAIRIE STORMS. It’s a fun nonfiction book about how prairie animals survive storms, my nonfiction début.
See my fun book trailers here: http://youtube.com/DarcyPattison.
A companion book, DESERT BATHS, will be out in August, 2012. It’s a story of how desert animals take a bath.
And available now, is WISDOM, the Midway Albatross: Surviving the Japanese Tsunami and other Disasters for Over 60 Years is the story of the oldest known wild bird in the world. Notice, it’s not the oldest bird in the world. Parrots in captivity have been known to live over 100 years; there are probably older wild birds than Wisdom, but we don’t know about them. Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, was first banded on December 10, 1956 and has had her banding updated six times since, making her the longest continuously monitored bird–or the oldest known wild bird in the world.
She has survived over 60 years of thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes; she has survived natural predators such as sharks; she has survived manmade disasters such as plastic pollution and long-line fishing. Right now, at the age of 61+, she is a new mother. Her latest chick–perhaps her 35th–was hatched in February. As you read this, think about this old albatross: her wingspan is 7.5 feet, her height about 2 feet and she’s kept her girlish figure by weighing in at only 8 pounds; she is probably flying over the Pacific Ocean right now in search of squid to feed her chick, which has been named Wonder.
The illustrations are by wildlife artist Kitty Harvill, who divides her year between residences in Arkansas and Brazil. Using public domain photographs, she did stunning watercolors that accurately depict the albatrosses in their natural environment.