I was tempted to say that they were lit by moonlight but in actuality, this was a bit of a happy accident. Taken in the full light of the late morning, I had my camera settings wrong resulting in an underexposed image. I almost deleted it but instead decided to darken it creating what I think is a nice edge-lit silhouette.
It always seems out of place to find pelicans in Colorado but I am glad these guys choose to hang out here during the summer. They are a bit goofy looking but also way cool and watching them fly is just awesome. It is hard to believe a bird so big can glide so gracefully. These four were hanging out at a pond in Weld County and had a nice little island all to themselves.
The last couple of days I was sharing pics of summertime visitors to Colorado that I expected to see soon. This was the next one I was going to share but instead of sharing a picture from last year, this is one from today – the first of the season.
There were, in fact, 16 American white pelicans at a small suburban pond and open space that I frequent. As cold as we have been here lately, they may come to regret their early arrival but I am happy to see them here.
From a month or so ago and the most recent time I got any pics of these big birds. There aren’t too many left here in Colorado as most have wisely headed south for the season (I wish I could follow!). They will spend their winter along the Gulf Coast and southern Pacific Coast then return in the spring. When they do, they become quite numerous and are easy to find on rivers, lakes and ponds along the Front Range.
“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?
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
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.