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Friday, September 24, 2010

Brown Pelicans on the Columbia River

Photo credit: Kim Taylor

These photos were sent to me by Kim. It's such a delight to see them on the river. Kim took the photos at the Hammond Mooring Basin. I've seen many herons, cormorants, and of course thousands of seagulls, but the only time I saw pelicans on the river (near Astoria) was a week or so ago when a flock of them flew past. I wan't ready with my camera, and they weren't hanging around. So, thanks, Kim, for sending them and for being right there with your camera when the timing was right!


There's certainly a lot of action here, including a small bird of some other species taking its chances near the pelican's beak. I read in my bird book that these guys were considered endangered in the 1970s due to the common pesticide DDT causing the shells of their eggs to become thin and break under the weight of the parent birds. Thanks to regulations, the pelicans have made a comeback here on the Oregon coast as well as on the Atlantic seacoast and the Gulf Coast. Unlike the birds in those two locations, ours are supposed to have a bright red throat, but apparently only when they are past juvenile stage and are not feeding chicks. I have yet to see that brilliant coloring.


More nice action shots. These unlikely-looking birds are such fun to spot.


Bye bye till next time. It's not uncommon to see brown pelicans at the beach or in flight past Cape Disappointment, but here on the river? Is this something new?

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

7 comments:

B SQUARED said...

Without a doubt, my favorite bird.

Birdman said...

My sister from Lake Oswego is visiting for a few weeks.... fun, fun, fun!

Rambling Round said...

Great shots, Kim!

Halcyon said...

I love pelicans. Glad you got this special treat!

Francisca said...

Glad we got to see Kim's captures of the pelicans... and your notes give me the background. I think the pelicans I've seen have larger beaks and are more white.

Lee Spangler said...

and they are so majestic but not an especially lovely face.

JM said...

Wish we had pelicans here...

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