Close Fly By, Brown Pelican - click to enlarge

Close Fly By, Brown Pelican

This is a Brown Pelican.  Even by Pelicans standards  they are unique. Pelicans catch fish along the surface of the water, except these guys. The fly searching downward, and crash head first to catch prey.

Close Fly By, Brown Pelican - click to enlarge
Close Fly By, Brown Pelican – click to enlarge

These are the smallest Pelican breed growing only up to 5 feet (1.5m) with a wing span of 7.5 feet (2.3m). That’s a pretty big bird.

Close Fly By, Brown Pelican - click to enlarge
Close Fly By, Brown Pelican – click to enlarge

They are not shy birds either. I photographed this one up close while he was dropping down to challenge several Dolphin for fish…face to face.

I had always thought of Pelicans as tropical birds, and for the most part they are. Yet Brown Pelicans can spend time along the Eastern Canadian coast. I can’t remember ever seeing any in the Northeast.

Close Fly By, Brown Pelican - click to enlarge
Close Fly By, Brown Pelican – click to enlarge

In flight photographs of Pelicans are fun because they fly slower than other big birds, but can suddenly move at a fast pace by using the air currents. They make you work for the shot.

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