Pelican Feeding Frenzy

After we finished birding Tokeland, we headed back to Westport thinking that Logan would be returning before too long.  Until he returned, I thought I would try to get better pictures of the Brown Pelicans.  It took several stops, but I finally found a spot where they were fishing. There were so many pelicans that I got multiple chances to get the “perfect” picture.  I never did get it, but I came a lot closer than I have in the past.  It turns out that it is extremely hard to predict the moment a pelican begins its dive.

They spend a lot of time suspended mid-air like this, but more often than not they decide not to dive and continue looking for another fish.

It turned out, for me at least, that the best chance of catching one diving was to look for a spot where another pelican had just hit the water.

If you focused long enough another pelican would often join the feast.

Sometimes two more would join 

and then another.

I was most surprised to see how many gulls tried to join the feast.  I don’t think I saw a single pelican catch a fish without being joined by a gull.

2 thoughts on “Pelican Feeding Frenzy”

  1. Are the gulls around because the pelican’s bill can hold more than its bellican, and so some inevitably fall out?

    1. Unfortunately I am a better photographer than an ornithologist. I assume that bits of the fish must fall out but I really don’t know.

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