About me

"I now belong to a higher cult of favored mortals, for I have seen the albatross!"

Robert Cushman Murphy, 28 October 1912 on board of the whaling brig Daisy in the South Atlantic *


Since my early childhood I have been fascinated by nature and birds in particular. It's probably because of the many times I spent holidays at the seashore that I always felt greatly attracted to seabirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. Especially the beautiful and fascinating group of the tubenoses has become my favorite. Intrigued by the many mysteries that surround seabirds, their superb adaptation to a life on the open ocean and the unimaginable distances they travel. Today I still try to spend most of my holidays at the coast, no matter where, as long as there are seabirds to see.
The bill of an albatross, fulmar or shearwater is like a designer's masterpiece: a splendid combination of form and function, a piece of art in nature. And how about banking and gliding albatrosses, playful fulmars along Cornish cliffs, brown pelicans cruising along the Californian coast or racing shearwaters over waves crests off New Zealand?
Is there anything more beautiful?

Skulls and skeletons

Like so many little boys I started to collect bones and skulls when I was still in primary school and it stayed that way ever since. During more than forty years I improved my cleaning techniques because a skull is not just a piece of bone to me: it has to reflect the beauty and perfection of the living bird itself. At this moment I’m working on a reference collection of seabird skulls and skeletons and am involved in a few studies on skeletal characteristics of petrels and auks.

Seabirds: a hobby

Regrettably I have nothing to do with seabirds professionally. I work as a counselor, primary care consultant and coordinating manager in a regional mental institution in the northern part of Holland.
Seabirds are a hobby, and in some way a state of mind. 
Or if you wish: a ‘pleasant mental disorder‘.

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* from Ambassador to the Penguins, Eleanor Mathews, 2003