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Animals ShowcaseAmerican White Pelicans

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Ceropegia
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American White Pelicans

Post by Ceropegia »

For many years, I have wanted to see white pelicans up close. The only time I had ever seen any, they were mere specks in a flock flying so high overhead I couldn't tell what they were. By significantly enlarging a photo I had taken, I could see barely make out their unmistakeable beaks. On several occasions over the years I had driven the 60 or so miles to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge when I heard some were wintering there, but never managed to locate any. Then, this spring, a friend of mine who lives a couple of miles from me on the Coosa River showed me some photos he had taken of a migrating flock that had stopped offshore from his property. I told him how envious I was. So on subsequent days he would call me when the pelicans had showed up again. I was usually too busy or it was too late for me to get there. Finally one miserably cold rainy day I was able to get to the river and find a spot to look for some. First I only saw a few across the river, but gradually more and more arrived until a couple hundred had assembled. Then to my great good fortune, they started across the river to my side, fairly near to me, reached the shore, assembled in a tight mass, swam back out a short way, turned as one, and began driving fish back to the shore and had a feast. Quite a remarkable thing to see.
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Psjunkie
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Post by Psjunkie »

Looks like you got quite the show...well done

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minniev
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Post by minniev »

I love all of these, and most especially the second one. I chase the migratory white pellies that visit us every winter. Seldom do I find a way to get as close as you did even with my longest lens. They mostly set up on a little island in the reservoir that would mean getting a boat. Sometimes a group will fish near shore and I'm so excited to find them. I'm glad you got to see and photograph them, they are my favorite birds! I love how they form themselves into rows.
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Post by PietFrancke »

Wow! Wonderful shots and story. The abstract patterns those birds and beaks make are pretty incredible and a thing all by itself, I love those birds! Wow!!! Great job with the "try and try again" - way to go not giving up!!

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Ceropegia
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Post by Ceropegia »

minniev wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:47 pm
I love all of these, and most especially the second one. I chase the migratory white pellies that visit us every winter. Seldom do I find a way to get as close as you did even with my longest lens. They mostly set up on a little island in the reservoir that would mean getting a boat. Sometimes a group will fish near shore and I'm so excited to find them. I'm glad you got to see and photograph them, they are my favorite birds! I love how they form themselves into rows.
Thanks, BTW I counted at least 94 birds in the third photo and 44 in the last one.

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Ceropegia
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Post by Ceropegia »

PietFrancke wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:42 pm
Wow! Wonderful shots and story. The abstract patterns those birds and beaks make are pretty incredible and a thing all by itself, I love those birds! Wow!!! Great job with the "try and try again" - way to go not giving up!!
Thanks, they were a magnificent sight. My based on my counts of bird in the all the photos I took my guess is that the flock probably had 250 to 300 birds.

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Ceropegia
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Post by Ceropegia »

Psjunkie wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:14 pm
Looks like you got quite the show...well done
I surely did, thanks,

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uuglypher
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Post by uuglypher »

Ceropegia wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:51 pm
For many years, I have wanted to see white pelicans up close. The only time I had ever seen any, they were mere specks in a flock flying so high overhead I couldn't tell what they were. By significantly enlarging a photo I had taken, I could see barely make out their unmistakeable beaks. On several occasions over the years I had driven the 60 or so miles to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge when I heard some were wintering there, but never managed to locate any. Then, this spring, a friend of mine who lives a couple of miles from me on the Coosa River showed me some photos he had taken of a migrating flock that had stopped offshore from his property. I told him how envious I was. So on subsequent days he would call me when the pelicans had showed up again. I was usually too busy or it was too late for me to get there. Finally one miserably cold rainy day I was able to get to the river and find a spot to look for some. First I only saw a few across the river, but gradually more and more arrived until a couple hundred had assembled. Then to my great good fortune, they started across the river to my side, fairly near to me, reached the shore, assembled in a tight mass, swam back out a short way, turned as one, and began driving fish back to the shore and had a feast. Quite a remarkable thing to see.
Hi, Cero,
A wonderful series illustrating amazing coordination of postures and actions of the “collective organism” .... much like the coordination of the twisting, turning, climbing, and descending of an immense flock of starlings performed in three axes of infinite planes in space....but here performed and exhibited on the single plane of water’s surface.
Great eye!
Thanks for posting,
Dave

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