Texas Pelicans

On a recent visit to Surfside Beach, on the Texas Gulf Coast south of Houston, I observed several groups of Brown Pelicans. They were diving into the Gulf waters for fish, but unfortunately so far offshore that I could not photograph that activity. Often, however, their flight patterns took them closer to the shoreline.

Sometime the pelicans would fly in formation.


Canon EOS 7D (105mm, f/5, 1/2000 sec, ISO320) Brown Pelicans over the Gulf of Mexico near Surfside Beach, Texas

A few times, though, an individual would fly close enough to the beach to seduce me into trying a little bird-in-flight  photography. The next three images are a sequence from a single flight.


Canon EOS 7D (190mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec, ISO400) Brown Pelican flying alone near beach

These magnificent birds have a wingspan of around seven feet. To me, they appear very graceful when their wings are fully extended as shown below in the next frame of the continuous-burst sequence.


Canon EOS 7D (190mm, f/5, 1/2000 sec, ISO320) Same bird about an eighth of a second later

At other moments in flight, they are rather angular, as in the later frame below.


Canon EOS 7D (190mm, f/5, 1/2000 sec, ISO500) About three seconds after previous photo

These are my first post-worthy photographs of the Brown Pelican. Ironically, they were taken in Texas, even though the Brown Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, my home state.


The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.



Texas Pelicans — 2 Comments

    • Thanks for the compliment about the shots. Regarding your other comment, I saw a T-shirt in Anchorage last month that read, “We could split Alaska in two and make Texas the 3rd largest state.”

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