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Pelican

Clear the landing area! Big bird coming in!

You can’t really appreciate the size of an American White Pelican until you see one up close. They are surprisingly large and that wingspan is just massive. Last week there was a big pod of these patrolling a local pond and while it was mid-afternoon with harsh light, I had to stop and take pictures. They put on a nice show including this one that came in for a landing right in from of me.

An American White Pelican comes in for a landing at the Adams County, Colorado Fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican comes in for a landing at the Adams County, Colorado Fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelican glides with ease

Whew! I’m not sure where the last few days have gone but they were a whirlwind! Between home improvement projects and a raptor photo shoot (pics to come) I haven’t been able to catch a breath.

So, here is one I randomly grabbed from my archives. Taken back in July at Jackson Lake State Park, Colorado. These huge, seasonal visitors to the state make great photo subjects and are my wife’s favorite so when they are around, I am given no choice but to take pictures. 😉

An American White Pelican glides over the waters of a lake on Colorado's plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican glides over the waters of a lake on Colorado’s plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelican demonstrates standing on water ability

A pretty extraordinary feat, eh? 😉 Well, okay, maybe not. This is one frame of a sequence of images I took of this cool bird as it was taking flight. This one just happens to freeze the action at just the right moment.

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 seem to stand on the water at one point while taking flight on a lake on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican seem to stand on the water at one point while taking flight on a lake on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Formation flying American White Pelicans

These four massive birds came gliding by the other day, taking a brief respite on the lake. They are undoubtedly preparing to head south to warmer environs as winter is quickly approaching the Colorado Front Range. 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.

American White Pelicans glide over a lake in northern Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelicans glide over a lake in northern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

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)