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Pelican

Pelicans on a foggy morning

Because my wife gets mad if I see a pelican and don’t take a picture. 😉 While she and the rest of my camping crew slept in, I went for a photo drive near Grand Lake, Colorado. These birds seemed to be taking a clue from my clan and were not particularly awake when I spotted them.

Pelicans rest on a log on Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand County, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Pelicans rest on a log on Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pelican on the go

If there is one creature on our photo excursions that my wife will tolerate me spending time with more than any other it is these large birds. She is enamored with them. Earlier this week we spent a number of days at a relative ‘hot spot’ for them where dozens tend to hang out during the summer months.

With a wingspan that can reach an amazing 8+ feet, they are extraordinary fliers, able to soar with great ease, rarely flapping their wings. American White Pelicans spend their winters along the Gulf and southern Pacific coasts as well as in Mexico. Springtime sees them move north with many going to Canada and the northern plains but some choosing to stop part way and spend the summer in the Centennial State, northern California and a few other spots.

An American White Pelican flies over the waters of Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican flies over the waters of Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Head on with an American White Pelican

I’ve captured tons of pics of these massive birds but this is the first time I have had one fly directly at and over me. I had staked out a spot on the South Platte River northeast of Denver, Colorado. Lots of birds were following the waterway when this guy comes low and fast right at me. Kind of fun and a different view than you normally see of them.

An American White Pelican flying head on.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican flying head on. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pelicans perform a flyby

Pelicans perform a flyby. While the female Bald Eagle stands guard next to her eaglet, a couple of American White Pelicans circled overhead.

A pair of Pelicans fly overhead as a female Bald Eagle stands watch at her nest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Pelicans fly overhead as a female Bald Eagle stands watch at her nest. (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelican plays in the water

I took the long way home from work one day hoping to happen across something photo worthy and I did. A small pod of Pelicans was hanging out on a pond and provided some nice photo ops (until someone using a cell phone camera insisted on walking right up to them).

The pelicans were being quite animated spending a lot of time preening. They also exhibited a behavior I hadn’t seen before where they would slap their wings on the water then dunk themselves under. Here, one of them is seen as they slapped on the water.

An American White Pelican splashes in the water at the Adams County, Colorado fairgrounds.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican splashes in the water at the Adams County, Colorado fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

"I’m tell you, that fish was THIS big!"

I took the long way home from work one day last week hoping to happen across something photo worthy and I did. A small pod of American White Pelicans was hanging out on a pond and provided some nice photo ops (until someone using a cell phone camera insisted on walking right up to them).

The big guys returned to the Colorado Front Range over the past month and this was the first real opportunity I had to take pictures of them. Best of all, as this image shows, they were quite animated giving me a lot of cool captures. Taken at the Adams County Fairgrounds, Colorado.

American White Pelicans seem to be having quite a conversation at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelicans seem to be having quite a conversation at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The American White Pelican that didn’t get the memo

By now most of these massive birds have headed south for the winter but clearly not all of them. A few stragglers are still hanging around the plains of Colorado including this one. Perhaps they didn’t get the memo? I didn’t see it until the very last minute and only managed to squeeze off a couple of pics of it yesterday.

An American White Pelican flies across a clear, blue Colorado sky.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican flies across a clear, blue Colorado sky. (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelican soars with ease

While driving today I saw a pod of a dozen or so of these large birds flying overhead and while I didn’t any pics of them then, I figured I would post an image of one from back in March.

This time of year these birds are looking to move south to warmer conditions, then they were just returning to Colorado for the season.

American White Pelicans spend their winters along the Gulf and southern Pacific coasts as well as in Mexico. Springtime sees them move north with many going to Canada and the northern plains but some choosing to stop part way and spend the summer in the Centennial State, northern California and a few other spots.

Graceful flyer over the water

While they may not be the prettiest of birds, American White Pelicans are one of the most beautiful birds in flight you could hope to see. Their massive wingspan allows them to fly with ease and glide for amazing distances without a flap.

This particular one was showcasing its ability over a lake in northeastern Colorado by maintaining a low altitude just about the water’s surface.

American White Pelicans spend their winters along the Gulf and southern Pacific coasts as well as in Mexico. Springtime sees them move north with many going to Canada and the northern plains but some choosing to stop part way and spend the summer in the Centennial State, northern California and a few other spots.

An American White Pelican flies with east over the waters of Jackson Lake, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican flies with east over the waters of Jackson Lake, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pelican dances on the shore

Frank demonstrates his soft shoe routine for others in the Pelican pod. 😉

The lake I was at this past weekend has seen an increase in the population over the last couple of summers – at least it seems so. That means plenty of photo ops with them including this one where there were about 25 of them hanging out along the shoreline (and probably 75 more in other spots in the area).

I’m not entirely sure what the show off in this picture was. He was standing there still but for whatever reason seemed compelled to do a little routine for others.

An American White Pelican seems to be dancing on the shore of a lake in northeastern Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican seems to be dancing on the shore of a lake in northeastern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)