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Friday, February 08, 2013

Pelican Watching

When we spent the day at Fred Howard Beach, near Tarpon Springs, Florida, last month, one of the treats was watching the pelicans as they flew over the water, searching for a meal and diving into the water to catch it.

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Searching the waters

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Beginning the dive

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Peparing for entry

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Splash

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Resting a bit after resurfacing

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Preparing for takeoff


15 comments:

  1. There is a place to eat in St Petes called the Sloppy Pelican and you can sit, enjoy your meal and watch the pelicans dive in the water and "play". It was so much fun watching them!!!

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  2. Brown pelicans are so interesting to watch as they dive for food. It's such a dramatic event compared to the white pelicans. Fascinating to watch them. Great series, Linda!

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  3. such big-bodied birds. amazing they can fly, plunge and then take off again!

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  4. You got some great shots of the pelican diving for its meal. I haven't had much success in getting those pictures.

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  5. They're so incredibly agile for such a large bird. I'd love to see one in person. But thanks to your fine photos, I have the next best thing.

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  6. Thanks, Steve!

    Cheryl - That sounds like a neat restaurant. Pelicans are very entertaining to watch.

    Gail - Well, color me surprised. I didn't know there was a difference between white and brown pelicans, other than their color. Blogging is so educational. :)

    Theresa - They're amazing birds...so much power and agility and grace in flight.

    George - I have to confess to taking some of these pictures off the video that Doug shot. The action was too fast for the shutter speed on my camera.

    Hilary - They're really interesting to watch. Sometimes a whole flock of them will go skimming, single file, just above the water. At other times, they soar and hover and dive, completely submerging. Then they raise those big wet wings and take off to do it all again.

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  7. I wonder if this pelican actually caught anything. Quite an interesting spectacle of nature.

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    Replies
    1. Good question, Stephen. Their bills are so big that they could have a small whale in there and you wouldn't be able to see it. Well, maybe not a whale...but a pretty big fish.

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  8. Beautiful birds, aren't they, Linda? You captured some great pictures. Love the ones of them in flight. I have trouble getting birds in flight...

    Have a good weekend. Hope you didn't get too much snow from that horrible system.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. I confess, Betsy. Some of the flying and diving pictures were taken from the video that Doug shot. The action is so fast that my camera couldn’t keep up. I thought about posting the video, but it should be shown in slow motion to get the best effect; and I don’t know how to post it in slow motion.

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  9. Excellent series on pelican diving in and out. I never seen this bird taking off or landing... Thanks for sharing :)

    First time here, via George's blog.

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    1. Jeevan - Thank you for visiting and leaving such a nice comment.

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  10. Linda, this must have been wonderful to watch. I wonder how it is possible that they can open their bill under water without the water causing them harm. But they swallow the fish above water, after they surface - as far as I know - so that may be the trick.

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    1. Petra - The process happens so quickly that I'm not sure when the pelican actually swallows its catch, but I suspect you're on the right track. It might be that they are able to drain the water out of the pouch before swallowing their meal, too.

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