Pelican Day at Sea Ranch

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Pelicans almost in Formation Pelican...comin' at you Pelican soaring on the breeze Pelican in full pose

I was out at Del Mar Point here at Sea Ranch a week or so ago and I made a mental note of all the pelicans I had seen that afternoon.   Although I had my camera with me, I didn’t have a long lens so I decided to come back yesterday with my 70-200mm lens.   There were plenty of pelicans and cormorants sitting on the small rocky islands just off shore but I was really looking for something more interesting than birds on a rock.  So I found a nice comfy spot on a rock outcrop and waited for these prehistoric looking creatures to just fly by.  And they did!

I’m told by one of my birding friends, Nancy Carroll, that the first image shows a female leading a small group of juveniles.  The last image is also a juvenile based on the lack of color on its head.  Based on that, I think the third image is also a juvenile as I’m pretty sure it was the same bird as in the fourth image.  Thanks again Nancy for the info.

I shot all these images at 200mm and cropped the images to further magnify the birds.   A 200mm lens isn’t often long enough to do justice to birds flying overhead unless they’re really close.  These birds didn’t get that close, but the lens combined with the cropping ability inherent in the 36MP sensor in my camera allowed for some nice close-ups of these magnificent birds.  I don’t know exactly how large these particular pelicans are, but I do know this…” Pelican, Pelican…his beak can hold more than his belly can.”   Enjoy!!!

Equipment:  Nikon 810; Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 lens; Monopod.

Addendum:  My smart and lovely wife Barbara informed me after reading my post that my little quote regarding a pelican’s belly is from a poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt,  which reads as follows:

“A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?”


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