American White Pelican

I was looking forward to seeing the White Pelicans in Toppenish, but, again, had to wait until I got to Malheur to see them. I was greeted by a small flock at the entrance, much closer than I’ve ever seen them before, except in the zoo.

It didn’t take long to get some good shots,

American White Pelican

though I’d observed quite awhile before seeing one lower its head into the water and pull up a meal.

White Pelican Feeding

I’m used to seeing Brown Pelicans dive from some spectacular heights to capture fish, but I’ve never seen one do this. Of course, when I thought about it, I’m not sure this pond was deep enough to be safe to dive into from any great height.

Of course, if you go to All About Birds you learn that:

The White Pelican does not dive for fish as the Brown Pelican does. Instead, it dips its head underwater to scoop up fish. Several pelicans may fish cooperatively, moving into a circle to concentrate fish, and then dipping their heads under simultaneously to catch fish.

I guess I’ll have to wait awhile longer to capture a shot of a group of them cooperatively fishing.

Until then, I’ll have to be satisfied with shots of synchronized swimming

Pair of White Pelicans

and with the Pelican’s strange beauty.

White Pelican

3 thoughts on “American White Pelican

  1. I fell in love with pelicans when we lived briefly in Pensacola. Your photos of the white ones are simply stunning. I adore long leggedy birds, too. I can’t wait to see more of your work!!!

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