Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pelicans flying in formation

We like to watch pelicans flying up and down the beach from our condo. Unless I have my camera with me, there is no use trying to run inside the condo to grab the camera, turn it on, set the exposure and try to take a photo. They will be too far to photograph.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me when these pelicans flew by in their typical "V" flying formation. Pelicans do not migrate like birds who fly south for the winter, but they can forage long distances, up to 93 miles (150 km) for food.

I think that the pelicans that we have in Costa Rica are brown pelicans, the same species as in Florida or California. We often see them plunge diving into the ocean for food, which is a characteristic of brown pelicans.

Pelicans are ancient creatures, as fossils reveal that they lived as long as 30 million years ago. They were almost wiped out in the USA in the middle of the 20th century, as DDT use caused their egg shells to be too thin to hatch. Thank heavens for Rachel Carson and her groundbreaking book, The Silent Spring, which awoke mankind to the dangers of unregulated pesticide use.

This week we are showing some close up photos of plants and animals of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

9 comments:

Kate said...

The instincts of birds are pretty remarkable. Love hearing about them; thanks for the information.

Sharon said...

I love watching pelicans. I remember watching them in California back in August while I strolled the beach. I love how they fly in formation like this.

glenda said...

They are really fun to see along the shore line. Quite amazing when they dive for a fish. You were lucky to catch such a great shot.

Lois said...

I love pelicans! You are right about the Marilyn Monroe statue being new. When I was in Chicago 2 years ago, it was not there.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Well done Dave, not an easy shot!

JM said...

Interesting information on pelicans, Dave. I've seen these birds in several places but have never noticed the 'V' flying formation, just like ducks.

Jarart said...

It's great that you were prepared to capture these wonderful birds to share with us!

Bob Crowe said...

I had no idea that pelicans flew in formation like geese and that they do not migrate. A couple of years ago we went up to Alton for the winter eagle watching and saw a group of pelicans on the downstream side of the first lock and dam. I guess they stay there all winter, which came as quite a surprise.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

I love all of those pelicans. so many enjoying the ocean

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