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Pelican

“Go ahead. Hop in. It is safe.”

“Go ahead. Hop in. It is safe.” 😉 An American White Pelican seems to be trying to convince a Snowy Egret that it would be okay to check out its mouth. Of course in fact Pelicans don’t eat Egrets but it did make for a pretty darned funny image. A good one for a ‘caption this’ contest. What do you got?

An American White Pelican shows off for its friends and a Snowy Egret. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican shows off for its friends and a Snowy Egret. (© Tony’s Takes)

American White Pelican grabs the air at takeoff

We spent our weekend at Jackson Lake State Park, Colorado, one of our favorite summertime spots. Certainly there was plenty of time playing in the water but my family allowed me some photo time too. Of course since my wife absolutely loves these massive birds, she didn’t mind too much.

Anecdotally, it seemed like there were more Pelicans there this year than we have ever seen in the 15 years we have been going there. Here, one that had swam close to our boat decided it was time to go and takes flight. So much fun to watch them. They may be a bit goofy looking but they are extraordinarily graceful flyers.

An American White Pelican takes to the air over Jackson Lake in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican takes to the air over Jackson Lake in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Formation flying Brown Pelicans

A first for me photographing these large, somewhat goofy looking birds. Taken near Cocoa Beach, Florida, it was quite entertaining to watch them as they patrolled the surf and shoreline.

My primary purpose there was family fun so these images weren’t taken until mid-morning when the light was kind of harsh. Nevertheless, it is easy to appreciate these coastal residents. I had hoped to get some shots of their infamous head-first dives into the water and while I saw a few do it, none did so close enough for me to get pics of the action.

These pelicans are a bit smaller than the American White Pelicans I see regularly here in Colorado. However, they are still sizeable with wingspans that can push close to five feet across.

Brown Pelicans fly along the Florida coast.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Brown Pelicans fly along the Florida coast. (© Tony’s Takes)

Brown Pelicans fly along the Florida coast.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Brown Pelicans fly along the Florida coast. (© Tony’s Takes)

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)