Here a young Brown Pelican paddled by me. Slow and in no hurry so I was able to take my time with a few different settings.
I was most impressed on how clean and fresh the various layers of his wing feathers were. All in perfect rows. View the image large and you can see what I mean.
I would like to say it’s my photographic skills…however I do see this in younger Pelicans. On this site there are multiple Pelican images and the young birds have this look, the older birds with the lighter feathers and white heads do not.
Just an observation with zero facts to support it.