Notes From the Seabird Capital of the World

A water color sketch showing a New Zealand storm-petrel skimming the water, its wings up. The bird is shades of gray.

Sketchbook in hand, I brace myself in the stern of a rocking boat. The rugged profile of Little Barrier Island looms on the horizon. In front of me, a small, dark-backed seabird dashes back and forth, chasing crustaceans along the surface of New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. It’s odd to be sketching an animal that had been

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