The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
It’s a (sea) Bird!
Over 50 years ago, a team of over 40 Smithsonian researchers were deployed to survey plants and animals living on the islands and atolls of the Pacific Ocean as part of the Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program. The major goals of the program were to learn what plants and animals occurred on the islands, the seasonal variations in their numbers and reproductive activities, and the distribution and population of the pelagic birds (birds living over the open ocean) of that area.
During the six and a half years of field work, 1,800,000 birds were banded and approximately 150,000 observations of pelagic birds at sea were made. We hope you enjoy these completely adorable pelagic chicks, all in the name of science!