White Pelicans at Malheur

One of the very first shots I got at Malheur was this shot of a White Pelican, in the large pond just before Narrows.

White Pelican

It was so windy that the pond looked more like the ocean than the pond where I first photographed them.

Pelicans in Flight

I think I’ve seen them every time I’ve been to Malheur, but there were more of them this time than I was used to seeing, which, of course, means I had more photographic opportunities than usual.

When I got out and walked the wetlands on Ruh-Red Road, I got more flybys than I’ve gotten before, too. They flew directly overhead

Pelican Fly Over

as well as at nearly eye-level, spooking them as much as they spooked me when they lifted off.

Pelican

I also learned another interesting fact about Pelicans while observing them this time. Those funny bumps on their beak are signs that they are in breeding. Horny, as it were.

Strangely enough, nearly the last shot I took, just as I was leaving Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northern California turned out to be my favorite pelican shot of the trip.

White Pelican

When I first saw the bird floating alone, I thought it was the most magnificent Pelican I’d seen on the trip, but after working with it on the computer it looks a lot like the other pelicans I shot. It’s the light and setting that make the shot a personal favorite.

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