Category Archives: Pelican

Pushing Food, Pelicans

This is a good example of how a group of birds drive fish ahead, in this case into the banks of a rice field.

Pushing Food, Pelicans
Pushing Food, Pelicans

These Pelican swim forward grabbing the fish as they move.

Pushing Food, Pelicans
Pushing Food, Pelicans

The fish keep ahead of the birds until they run out of water or against a shore.

A friend was photographing large flocks of Egrets using the same technique. They were so efficient the fish jumped out of the water onto the banks all around where she was hiding in the reeds. Large flocks become an eating machine.

Click any image for a full view.

These flocks will move on when the fish are gone. The fish return with the tides and water flows between the marshes.

 

A Sample Of The Marshes We Shoot

Few people get to see a scene like this, I’m out there and I don’t always get this. Best viewed full screen to see the details.

The photograph was taken facing one of the dikes out in an old rice field. The steep bank isa  side of this old dike and you can walk this for a long way.

A Great Blue Heron is on the dike, another below to the right in the water.

A Sample Of The Marshes We Shoot
A Sample Of The Marshes We Shoot

This is fall so the reeds are down and the color more brown than anything. On the bank below the dike is a large Alligator sleeping.

And of course easily seen are the White Pelicans swimming by.

The immediate surrounding wildlife areas are over 350,000 acres. That is like a small country.

However, just today I read the other connecting public/private wildlife lands now are approximately 1,000,000 acres. Yep, one million.

 

Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity

These are the photographs you rarely get the opportunity to shoot. Never mind actually getting them, it’s the chance you don’t ever get. That’s why I chose the title I did.

Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity

This White Pelican did a glide past me and gently eased into landing.

Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity

By this time I had been shooting them for about an hour and was at the point I was missing the good shots, big gear does get heavy.

Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity

About five years ago I had this opportunity in a Florida salt marsh. I caught maybe two good images. Good thing I didn’t remember that when I was shooting LOL.

Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity

When the big feet touched the water I was hoping my aim was good because I wanted the ‘water ski’ landing.

Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity
Thank You Mr. Pelican For The Opportunity

There were a few more good images but this article already has more than usual.

To end… I was a happy camper LOL.

 

 

 

Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican

Pity the poor fish when this group gets together.

Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican
Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican

White Pelican feed by driving fish ahead, pushing then into a place they can be caught more easily.

Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican
Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican

Swimming in a line the big bills are filled with water, and fish, as they move ahead.

Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican
Gathering Together To Feed, White Pelican

Many water birds use a similar technique, even flocks of Egrets. These big birds are pretty effective at it.

Big Guy’s Coming To A Marsh, Pelican

I try to restrict the number of over head Pelican fly by’s I shoot.

There are rarely as good as I think, and how many flying big belly photographs do we need!

Big Guy's Coming To A Marsh, Pelican
Big Guy’s Coming To A Marsh, Pelican

These are big birds. Body weight can range between 7.7 and 30 lb (3.5 and 13.6 kg), although typically these birds average between 11 and 20 lb (5.0 and 9.1 kg).

The Lowcountry is considered an ‘uncommon’ migration stop. Once again the animals know better than humans. November/December they feed in these far marshes all the time, though in smaller flocks of 20 to 50 birds.

Pelican, How it’s Done

So, when a Pelican grabs a fish a whole bunch of water comes with it. And this is how he eats a fish.

Pelican, How it's Done
Pelican, How it’s Done

The water is sent flying. Not pretty but effective.

Pelican, How it's Done
Pelican, How it’s Done
Pelican, How it's Done
Pelican, How it’s Done
Pelican, How it's Done
Pelican, How it’s Done

Above the Pelican finally eats his fish.

Late November the marshes start to fill with White Pelicans. On a good day you can wear out your arm and a few memory cards.

Photographed at the ACE Basin, South Carolina.