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Kitty HarvillKitty Harvill   BFA, MA, AFC, APAP/PR, TWASI Kitty Harvill
Birds & Nature of Brazil
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WISDOM in Congress ?

As you can read elsewhere in this issue of Arkansas Birds, the guest speaker for the AAS Spring Convention on Friday evening was Darcy Pattison, author of the children’s book Wisdom: The Midway Albatross. Wisdom is a real albatross who, at age 63, has been in the national news recently because she is the oldest known wild bird. Wisdom broke another record in 2013 when she returned to her nest location on Midway Island to lay yet another egg. Darcy’s book relates the dramatic story of an albatross who has managed to survive numerous natural and man made hazards. The book, with beautiful illustrations by Kitty Harvill, explains the dangers an albatross must face in the world today. Then the text repeats, “but Wisdom survived”. I bought a copy as a gift for our grandchild. It might have ended there except for an email I received a few days before my scheduled flight to the National Audubon Society board meeting in Washington D.C. -Would I join with other Audubon Directors to meet with legislators and help build support for a bill “Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels”(ACAP)? I learned that of the 22 species of albatross in the world, 19 are threatened and the other three are “near threatened”. One of the prime reasons for this steep decline in albatross and petrel populations can be traced to the use of long line commercial fishing techniques. Vessels trail these lines that bristle with baited hooks for up to several miles. As birds dive for the bait they are dragged underwater and drowned. Flags attached along the lines greatly reduce bird deaths. Many US fishing fleets use this method, but foreign ships often do not. ACAP does more for these sea birds than simply ratify an international agreement on flagging fishing lines, but this one provision alone would significantly improve albatross and petrel survival rates. Four days, two of them weekends, before my flight to Washington I emailed author Darcy Pattison asking if there was any way she could arrange to have thirty copies of “Wisdom” shipped to D.C. The response from Darcy told me that although she was currently traveling in Europe, she would request her office to fulfill the order. Wednesday evening, the day before we are to march on “The Hill”, I sit glumly in the hotel restaurant with my Audubon colleagues. No books have arrived. Suddenly my cell phone starts to vibrate. I didn’t even realize the ancient devise was capable of vibrating! The call is from my daughter. The books have arrived at her apartment and she volunteers to drive across the city, in 5 o’clock traffic, to deliver them. As I walk into the hotel with the box of books it hits me, “maybe everyone is going to think that a children’s book is a silly way to educate our august legislators”. But no, Audubon CEO/President David Yarnold recognizes a good story when he sees one and the books are distributed in time. If you order a copy of this book for a child, better order two copies, you’re going to want one for yourself. And maybe, when ACAP is ready for a final vote, you'll be willing to help us push it through the final hurdle? We’ll keep you informed when the time comes.
To order Wisdom: The Midway Albatross, go on line to Amazon or Barnes and Noble . Barnes and Noble book stores can also order copies for you.


Direct Correspondence to:Kitty Harvill
Kitty Harvill
Al. Augusto Stellfeld, 909, apto. 603 – Centro
Curitiba, Paraná
Brazil 80430-140
Tel: 55 41 3027-0927
  Worldwide Nature Artists Group
Email: kharvillart@gmail.com
Home Page: Kitty Harvill's Latest Website
Kitty Harvill Kitty Harvill

All rights reserved. All images and text © Copyright  Kitty Harvill
Member of The Worldwide Nature Artists Group www.natureartists.com.