Mixed Method

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

If it’s a Brown Pelican, how come its neck is white? Answer: that’s how they get when they’re not breeding. Judging by the light yellow wash on its crown, it’s probably not yet of breeding age. The other two that are keeping it company are older. This trio on North Basin Cove were hunting with a hybrid method, partly scooping and partly diving. You’ll often see them dive-bombing straight into the water from 20-30 feet up. Other times they paddle along with their beaks in the water looking to scoop up whatever’s there. This time they were diving from about six inches altitude and following up with big gulp scoops. I didn’t see them catch anything big enough to make a visible dent in their pouch, but they seemed happy enough and kept it up for quite a while.

A little flock of American Coots weren’t much disturbed by the much bigger bird because they knew that pelicans don’t eat things that have feathers, unless they’re very small. They prefer things with fins.

Meanwhile a noisy helicopter circled overhead for no apparent reason.

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis)

More about Brown Pelicans: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon In Chavez Park

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2 thoughts on “Mixed Method

  • I took that photo. On this website, photos that other people took will have a copyright notice superimposed on the photo, generally in the lower right or lower left corner. Photos without a copyright notice are mine. Thanks for asking!

  • What is the photo source of the two pelicans flying photo on this page?

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