Sunday, April 02, 2006

American White Pelican

Click on photo to enlarge

Peggy and I went for an afternoon walk by the marsh today where I finally got a decent shot of an American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos).
There were about twenty pelicans in the marsh and three of them actually flew over and landed in the water near the shore where we were walking. It's the closest I've seen them come to people, this one was about 30 feet from me. This is an adult in breeding plumage as indicated by the bumps on the bill known as centerboards. These huge birds have wingspans of 8 to 9 feet and eat about 4 pounds of fish each day.

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Blogger Sunflower said...

Jim & Peggy--

What a beautiful shot! I wanted to let you how Russell and I are, since you played such an important role in some of the decisions we're making now! Though San Antonio has proved nearly impossible to be car-free in, I have driven only three times in the past 6 months! I usually walk the three mile distance to my office. Russell now takes the bus as often as he can to school, and drives maybe once or twice a week. More importantly, though, is that our decision for "where to go" next has been strongly influenced by our desire to live car-free. Right now we're planning on moving to Bozeman, MT in July. So, thank you thank you!! for being such an inspiration! Have a great day!

Ruthie and Russell

8:16 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

Until now I didn't realize CA had pelicans. I learn something new every day.

8:36 PM  
Blogger shaidrules said...

thanks jim..that is a great picture

2:31 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ruthie & Russell-

So nice to hear from you guys and I hope you'll keep in touch once you get to Bozeman. You are an amazingly conscientious and committed couple and if all young people believed and lived like you do we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Jim said...


Yep, we have White Pelicans and Brown Pelicans in California, but we don't see the brown ones here, they're more coastal.


Thanks Denny, the picture came out pretty nice huh?

5:36 AM  
Blogger Tabor said...


9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelicans are due to pass through our area this month. We may see some on our way down to our woods this weekend.

11:16 AM  
Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

Cool - never knew about those things on the pelican's bill.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!
Beautiful pictures! I didn't know pelicans came any way but brown! They have been gradually moving up the coast....S.C., N.C., and within the last few years they have established breeding colonies in the Norfolk/Va Beach area. Don't know if it's global warming or just spread due to population pressure. They do a much better job of breeding since the DDT is gone.
Speaking of cars...we got rid of 3 this weekend.....'course, none of them ran anyway! :-)

7:44 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

I've only seen the brown pelicans on the California coast. Quite beautiful to watch them soar. I've never seen those bumps on the bill before. I wonder if the browns get those as well. This is an absolutely stunning photo, Jim.

We had a close encounter with a Great Blue Heron on Sunday. It let us get so close we were amazed. Must have been the day for getting close to big, beautiful birds.

10:00 AM  
Blogger dragonfly183 said...

Ooooh thats a beautiful picture

10:45 AM  
Blogger dragonfly183 said...

I've seen white ones here in Arkansas, in the winter.

10:45 AM  

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