Brown Pelican Photos

Skimming Pelican
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Skimming Pelican

Have you ever seen a Pelican surf? On the land they seem a little comical, but in the air they are amazing. They often fly right along the surface of the water taking advantage of "Ground Effect" an aerodynamic effect giving more lift in close proximity to the surface. It makes sense that they would do this to save energy, but at times they move closer to the breakers, riding the front of the wave just like a surfer. They wait until the last moment to slip gracefully over the top of the wave as it crashes below all gliding without a flap. This evening I caught this guy skimming the surface, but as he slowly flapped he actually ran the tip of his wing through the surface of the water just like a surfer playing in the front of the wave with his or her hand. He wasn't being as playful as some in the breakers but he was very graceful and relaxed. It was a pleasure to watch him and his friends fly off into the sunset.


Pelican Christmas
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Pelican Christmas

You have any idea how many fish I had to give him to get him to pose like that? He drove an especially hard bargain when it came to wearing the hat!

Merry Christmas!


Pelicans
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Pelicans

These guys are always hanging out on Stearns Wharf. They are hilarious. They waddle around behind the fishermen waiting patiently for scraps. And, all the grace they lack on the ground, they make up for in the air. They glide in perfect formations any fighter pilot would be proud of which, by the way, they do to conserve energy. The lead bird in the V formation takes the brunt of the wind resistance. The others can slip more easily through the air. On long migrations they take turns at the lead.


Pelican Peak
Friday, February 4, 2005
Pelican Peak

"You ate my fish!! I can smell it on your breath!!"

Pelicans are pretty comical, they are as fun to watch as they are to photograph.