Pelicans taking off: An essay in action photos


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The marvelous, prehistoric Brown Pelican. It spends its time diving into the waters of the world, scooping up fish with its long ponderous beak. For every dive however, there must be a return to the air. These pictures explore part of the laborious process that it takes to return these long winged wonders to the air.

Over the next few days I will be providing more views into the lives of these large sea faring birds, showing both the White Pelicans and the Browns at different times of the year and in different states- feeding, flying, swimming, and resting.

In the meantime, enjoy these images.

Brown Pelican beginning its slow deliberate take off

Once they burst from the water, they actually continue to slap both wide, webbed feet on the water for several more wing beats

And bit, by bit they rise

From a different angle the pelican begins its launch

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website- www.galenleeds.net
This entry was posted in birds, California, kayak photography, nature photography, Photo Essay, photography, SLR, wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pelicans taking off: An essay in action photos

  1. Vicki says:

    An amazing bird the pelican, it’s beak can hold more than it’s belly can….
    One of my favorite birds. Thanks Galen

  2. sean lemert says:

    I see what you mean, looking prehistoric. Fun to see/learn how they push off from the water to get into the air. I hear in your writing the love you have for what you see.

    • Thank you Sean

      That prehistoric look of theirs always draws me in. It has mostly been through photographing them that I myself learned that they pushed off from the water to take off. Their are several other birds that use similar methods- many types of geese actually sort of run on the water, their feet hitting one at a time, instead of as a pair.

      And yes, I do love what I find out there. This is a pretty magical world we find ourselves in.

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