Flight Ways and Wasted Generations
This chapter emphasizes the “embodied temporality” of species by looking through the lives of albatrosses. Albatrosses are pelagic, nomadic birds that comfortably cross huge expanses of water each day. Despite their adaptation as “wanderers,” they remain utterly tied to the land, as they need to lay eggs and raise their young. Midway Atoll, located roughly halfway between the United States and Japan, is a breeding place for both Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses. In recent decades, one of the most visible anthropogenic effects on many small Pacific islands like Midway has been the presence of plastic items. As they head skyward and seaward in search of food for growing chicks, albatrosses invariably collect plastic items that they mistake for food. These plastic items cause malnourishment, dehydration, starvation, and other health problems when ingested by the young.
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