Sail Tales — Spotting Terrestrial Birds at Sea

by Divya Panicker

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

An expedition in the Bay of Bengal encountered some terrestrial birds and highlights how little we know about the biodiversity in our seas and the need for urgent research attention in such remote locations.

In November 2013, our team from National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) set out on a ship R/V Roger Revelle hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for 17 days covering around 6000km in the offshore waters of the Bay of Bengal Sea to document marine mammals. We came across 12 species of marine mammals including blue whales, killer whales and sperm whales. Apart from these we saw turtles, flying fish, butterflies, dragonflies and, unexpectedly, some terrestrial birds. The expedition highlighted how little we know about the biodiversity in our seas and the need for urgent research attention in such remote locations.

Here are photos of some of the birds and insects that landed on our ship.


About the author

Divya Panicker

Divya is a marine mammal ecologist working in Indian waters since 2011.



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