Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather is a body of work that celebrates migration.

While stationed within small atoll islands of the Indian Ocean for many months, I began to notice the effect of moon cycles on marine animal behaviours. In the days leading up to the full moon there was a noticeable rise in populations of zooplankton. This buffet of microscopic organisms was especially alluring to filter feeders such as Reef Mantas (Mobula alfredi).

The Manta Rays would aggregate in areas that were particularly plankton-rich. They would hunt in hypnotic formations known as ‘Manta feeding chains’. This streamlined technique facilitated efficient and profitable feeding events. Floating patiently while millions of tiny zooplankton crawled across my skin allowed me to photograph Mantas as they flew together in mesmerising squadron formations.

In my Birds of Feather series, I hope to share the feelings of balance and grace that accompany this kind of event. The juxtaposition of speed and elegance certainly evokes a feeling of chaos and wonder, all orchestrated in one single event under a full moon.