As you can tell from my posts this month, during my recent Southern California visit I had an opportunity to photograph Brown Pelicans both times I was near water, i.e., on the Pacific Ocean and near the Salton Sea. Here are yet more images of Brown Pelicans, this time in early morning flight over the Salton Sea.
As usual with large, heavy birds, these pelicans sometimes look a bit awkward when landing or taking off, especially with their big webbed feet hanging down. The two images immediately below are of an individual during a single takeoff sequence. The first shows the pelican’s wings pushing downward.
Slightly later, it is looking a bit more graceful but its feet are still dangling.
To me, these pelicans appear more streamlined when in full flight. I caught this one flapping its wings while flying by the camera, but with its feet gracefully tucked under its tail feathers.
Finally, here is different Brown Pelican banking away from me with its wings fully extended.
I’ve had previous opportunities to photograph Brown Pelicans from shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and in my home state of Louisiana (where it is the state bird). On those occasions the pelicans were usually flying over the open Gulf well away from shore. It was much easier at the Salton Sea where, for some reason, the pelicans congregated near the northern shore close to our campground. Perhaps the water is less polluted in that area and provides a better fish supply for the birds. In fact, while walking not far from where these photos were taken, Donnette met a gentleman who was fishing quite successfully from the shore.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.