Oregon Wildlife: American White Pelicans Of Prineville

A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF WHITE PELICANS


On a warm early July day, I recently made a magnificent discovery virtually in my own backyard. While out for a drive one late afternoon, we drove past a familiar site about 5 miles east of the city of Prineville, Oregon, the Ochoco Reservoir. However, what caught our eye was hundreds of white birds in the shallow waters of the east side of the reservoir and being birdwatchers at heart, we pulled off the road to see what they were.

It turns out that these visitors to Central Oregon were none other than a large group of non-breeding American White Pelicans. Curious to observe these beautiful birds in their natural environment and not knowing much about them yet, I camped out on the side of the highway (the only place available to view them) camera in hand and just waited.

I was not disappointed. These gorgeous water birds put on quite a show for us. Our patience paid off as the fish apparently swam towards us bringing the birds up to where I could definitely get a "bird's-eye view".

You can see more of my pictures here on Facebook.

P.S. This hub is in the finals for the grand prize of $500. Voting will begin August 9th at noon and run through August 11th at noon. Please click here on the FACEBOOK VOTING LINK, then click on the Fan Faves or View Entries icon and vote if you think this is the best hub in the contest. Remember to click on "LIKE" the page to be able to vote.

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Source

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (PELECANUS ERYTHRORHYNCHOS)


What I noticed right away was that the American White Pelican doesn't dive for its food like the Brown Pelican that I saw growing up in Southern California. Instead, the American White Pelican swims, either solo or with other pelicans in search of food. Instead of diving, they plunge their neck and upper body beneath the water while expanding the pouch located in their bill. They use the pouch like a giant net to catch the fish and then surface with their bounty. The pouch allows the water to drain out but leaves the fish behind for the feast.

The other curious thing about this pelican is that the American White is a team player. Meaning that when there are lots of fish running, the pelicans stick together and form a line or a circle depending on how the fish are running. They move about in the water to channel the fish towards each other and then all cooperate in netting as many as they can.

The American White Pelican is a very social bird even when it comes to nesting and breeding. They tend to nest right next to each other but they are rather particular about the conditions in which they breed. The odd thing about the Prineville Pelicans as I think of them is that they are all non-breeding pelicans who have just come for a visit. While they have all the indications and markings of breeding pairs, they are non-breeders. However, my guess is that they require more private environs for their nests. American White Pelicans mainly nest on islands or try to nest in protected areas because their nests are formed on the ground. In 1988, it was reported that 800 nests of American White Pelicans were abandoned at the Malheur nesting grounds in Oregon. The unknown perpetrators invaded the nesting grounds by canoe.

In speaking with Chuck Gates, the NAMC State Coordinator, East Cascades Audobon Society, looking at the varying numbers of pelicans from year to year or even month to month that visit Central Oregon, there must be a correlation with the water level and consequently the abundance of fish.

The pelicans usually arrive in numbers somewhere between May and June but can dwindle remarkably within a day. The reason for this is of course the food supply and once they have tapped out the fish, they move on to other lakes, rivers, etc. in search of more food. Non-breeding pairs travel from waterway to waterway in search of their food. After the feeding times in summer, they progressively move south if the weather becomes too icy or inclement.

American White Pelicans are huge birds with a 9 foot wingspan and can easily get up to 5000 or 6000 feet and then draft on the thermals. They can spot other pelicans who've found a good dining spot. They skip from lake to lake or river to river to follow the fish. The pelicans here in Central Oregon most often head to Kalamath Lake for winter but travel further south should they need warmer weather.

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FACTS ABOUT AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS


  • American White Pelicans have a wingspan of 9 feet
  • They are one of the largest flying birds found in the Pacific Northwest and North America
  • To give a general idea of their wingspan, the American White Pelican's almost equals the California Condor's
  • Most weigh 16 pounds (about the weight of a Tom turkey). In terms of North American birds, only the California Condor, the Trumpeter Swan and the Mute Swan are heavier
  • In spite of the fact that they are heavy and have enormous wingspans, these birds move quite fast at almost 4 mph in the water but are clumsy on land
  • American White Pelicans are white with black wing tips. On opening its wings, the underpart of the wing is made up of a beautiful display of black and white feathers
  • These pelicans sport a long, wide orange bill and beneath the bill, a bright yellow-orange pouch for fishing. They have large heavy bodies and short orange legs
  • During the mating season, bills and legs are bright orange. The head has white plumes and has a flattened horn on the upper part of the bill. After mating, the plumes and the horned prominence disappear
  • American White Pelicans seek out rivers, estuaries, beaches, marshes, lakes and bays
  • The European and Asian variant of this bird is the Great White Pelican (Pelecacnus onocrotalus).
  • Males are slightly larger than females, otherwise are indistinguishable. They generally live for about 15 years though some statistics go as high as 25 years. One lived to the age of 34 in captivity
  • Nesting is usually in a group setting preferably on an island near a freshwater lake. The female lays 2-6 eggs in a nest built on the ground made up of sticks, grasses and reeds. Both parents sit on the nest and the eggs hatch in a month. Generally speaking, only 1 chick survives due to the laws of nature or the fact that usually only the strongest chick survives. The baby pelicans stick their entire head inside the parents' beaks to feed on regurgitated fish
  • Diet consists of carp, trout, pike, catfish, minnows and sturgeons. However, they will also eat lizards, frogs and other amphibians. They've also been known to eat other birds occasionally
  • Man is a threat to American White Pelicans during their nesting periods. Coyotes, eagles, osprey, etc. are also threats to the pelican eggs
  • American Whites are long distance migrators. They typically fly in majestic V patterns but alternate between flapping their wings and drafting on the thermals
  • Bills of the American White Pelican can hold up to 3 gallons of water
  • These birds are clever fishermen; they are often seen cooperating with cormorants. While the cormorants dive, fish are forced up to the surface where the pelicans scoop them up
  • American White Pelicans breed after they are 3 years old and are monogamous. During mating season, the bill becomes bright orange as does the skin around the eye, the legs and feet. After breeding, the bill goes back to a lighter color of yellow-orange and the skin and feet become more yellow again
  • Extremely social in their behavior, these are graceful birds who are mostly silent when not nesting. When breeding, they will have a hoarse or raspy display call
  • They can eat up to 4 pounds of fish per day
  • Adults have all white heads but when feeding their chicks, adults grow black feathers on the tops of their heads
  • American White Pelicans avoid the open ocean but fly over mountains and deserts looking for food sources
  • Colonies have been noted of up to 5000 pairs

For an up close and personal look at how American White Pelicans feed, be sure and check out the Youtube video below.

For more information on American White Pelicans and incredible pictures, check out the links below.

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THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES


The conservation status of these birds is LC or Least Concern although in Alberta, Canada there has been concern that their numbers are diminishing.

During the first half of the 20th century, the American White Pelican numbers were dropping because of predators, drought, loss of habitat and nest failure. They also were in great demand for their feathers for women's hats.

Pollution and sprays such as DDT have also had their effects on the American White Pelican population.

The potential great threat to the American White Pelican is loss of appropriate breeding grounds since they are very particular in their nesting habits. However, man remains the greatest threat to their survival.

This species of pelican is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

They are classified as protected by the California Department of Fish and Game.

They are also listed as an endangered species in the state of Washington.

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PREENING WHITE PELICANS


I ended up going back so many times to film the White Pelicans that I finally had the opportunity to see them on the shore preening.

This behavior was absolutely remarkable to see and although I did not do it justice because I was too far away even with my high powered lens and a 2X magnifier, you should check out Mia McPherson's photo capture of a beautiful White Pelican and the preening behavior.

Visit her site at On The Wing Photography and you'll be treated to a magnificent set of pictures. While I got the "flavor" of their behavior, she captured it perfectly.

Just like other birds, White Pelicans have upwards of 25,000 feathers and they have to preen them in order to keep them in top condition.

By preening, sunning, bathing, stretching and other maneuvers, they align their feathers, weed out parasites and also create a healthier appearance, thus making it easier to attract a mate.

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Pelican Brief

Category
Statistic
 
Color:
White with orange bill & feet
 
Where Found:
North America
 
Length:
50-65 inches
 
Wingspan:
96-114 inches
 
Weight:
10-19 pounds
 
Life Expectancy:
15+ years
 
Breeding Age:
After 3 years
 
Diet:
Fish, amphibians
 
Status:
Monagamous
 
Sensitivity to Environment:
Extreme
 
Endangered Species Status:
Least Concern; being monitored
 

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS


All the above pictures and those on my Facebook link were shot with my SLR camera from the highway.

My camera is a Nikon D-70 SLR and I used a 300mm lens. I worried about the steadiness without a tripod but it worked pretty well without one.

Due to the distance that I was shooting from, it was necessary to enlarge my digital images by fiddling with the pixels.

I found that between 2000 and 3000 bicubic did the job quite nicely without distorting the images though each image was adjusted to its best possible resolution individually. Also cropping them and then enlarging, on some I could get to 4000 even 5000 pixels.

I also went back and tried some shots with a 2X converter attached to the 300mm lens. That worked well also but it is harder to take steady shots. Most of my preening shots were shot this way although some blurred due to the rapidity at which I tried to shoot.

Giving credit where credit is due, I also have to add here that Maggie (otherwise known as Maggs224 on hubpages) was kind enough to look at my hub pictures and gave me some spectacular advice on how to enhance my photographs. The pictures you see on this hub are definitely much improved from the originals simply because Maggie took the time to help a fellow hubber with her technique after the fact.

In short, I've had a great month following my beloved White Pelicans and will follow them until they leave for better feeding grounds. It has been an experience to learn more about them and to rediscover something I seemed to have misplaced in the past few years which is my love of birding and observing wildlife.

I was asked by the Forestry Service here locally to come and do a nature talk at the local reservoir with my pictures and am excited to be a participant in such an event. Although public speaking is not usually my forte, I am excited to hopefully educate people, particularly children, about the care we all need to take when it comes to preserving these glorious species for generations to come and the mighty impact man has on the environment. I believe that this should be everyone's goal as there but for the grace of God go we all.

To preserve and protect is a great honor when the reward is something so beautiful it takes your breath away.


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More by this Author


Don't Forget To Vote and Thanks So Much! (Link Above) 74 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thank you, Vinaya--for stopping by and the kind comment. Birds are fascinating and definitely this particular species is one to behold!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I love bird watching, your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for your bird photography tips.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thank you CZ--one of my favorite summer things to do--photograph these magnificent birds~


CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

Awesome and beautiful, enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading this article about the pelicans of Prineville, Oregon.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks for the comment, Virginia - my favorite birds along with herons~


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 4 years ago from United States

Our family are also bird watchers, and bug watchers and plant watchers. I've always loved nature and married a biologist. My kids can identify birds and insects most people don't even notice! I've seen white Pelicans in our current home in Central Texas and in Florida where we used to live, but I have not photographed them. Great Hub. I'm going to come back to look at how you've done this formatting. I love the fact that you give so much information so clearly but you also make this personal. Voted up, useful and sharing. I'm going to enjoy reading your Hubs.


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago

I'm truly sorry to hear that. I'll miss seeing new hubs by you. Hubpages is losing a great writer. I hope you find another site to share your wit with the world. The world is in dire need of more wit. Be well, and let me know if you start writing again!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Crewman - No worries - have decided to direct my life in a different direction with less stress. To be honest, I've tried so many times in the contest and never made it to the "big one" - go figure. It just wasn't meant to be and come to find out, the one that won was "more fun". I love it that you compared me not winning to American Idol - too funny since I can't sing a lick~ Please keep in touch and shoot me off an email if you have new writings - I'm officially not writing anymore and most especially not here~ Just left a very bad taste in my mouth I guess and I'm really sorry about always begging for votes~ That too made me wince so glad to be done with that!


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago

I'm sorry you didn't get it. You write so much and so well, I really thought you were a shoo-in. It's kind of like when the best singer on American Idol gets voted out. Hard to understand.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks so much for the vote~ Guess it just wasn't meant to be - or it was rigged which is pretty much what it felt like! On to bigger and better things I guess. Thanks so much for all the support.


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago

I agree. I thought I was just being dumb, so I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one having trouble getting it right. Still, it did finally get there. Hope you win!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Oh thank you - I just sent you the link~! Too funny - it hasn't been working very well for me~~~~


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago

Thinking first? Would that mean no more great stories?

On a serious note, I just went and voted (for you, of course!) Good luck.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

That's what I'm worried about - not so much me but the camera....and the dogs dragging me down into the drink~ I'm still thinking about this! That might be a first for me...actually thinking something through before I jump in - literally~


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago

I'm in awe of your courage (and Bob's!) for considering sharing a canoe with you, Bob, the dogs, AND the camera. Seriously, do they have a waterproof floating housing for your camera?


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks so much Crewman6~ what can I say? I think I'm in bird love with these guys~~ Going out this weekend to try and take some more shots and may try and even paddle out in a canoe - I only hope I don't drop my camera~ I also can't quite figure out how to get the malamutes and Bob into the canoe but I'm thinking about it!!!


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago

Sorry it took so long to get here. Spectacular pictures, and a beautiful hub. I'll definitely drop in on the 9th and vote for it.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Maggs - You are TOO kind because I know how wonderful your pictures are....these were actually cumulative shots over probably 6 times. I keep going back - I can't stay away from my beautiful white pelicans. They are so fascinating to watch and only wish I had a video camera that would actually zoom so that you could see them or I'd have my own vids~ I so appreciate your kind remarks and your support!! I LOVE your pictures and am working on getting better as a "shooter"~


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain

This is a great hub Audrey and I have voted the hub up, hit beautiful, interesting and tweeted twice once as maggsshutterbug. Your photographs are stunning you look like you had one of those golden days when everything went your way with the photographs.

Your writing and photographs come together to make a superb hub many congratulations on getting through to the finals.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Tebo - I agree - they are mesmerizing - I love herons too and all the birds that look so 'prehistoric' - they are just wonderful - but then I love most birds~~


tebo profile image

tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

Pelicans are such awesome birds. I love their eyes. They look like they are not real, but painted on. When in Aussie I was fascinated by them. Great hub.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks for stopping in, Cassidella - they truly are magnificent - stay tuned for some updated pictures~


Cassidella profile image

Cassidella 5 years ago

How wonderful,akirchner, to find such natural beauty close to your home, and you captured it beautifully in photos for this hub about American white pelicans!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Ghost 32 - What a fantastic story - actually couple of them....what a bummer to drop all those tires here of all places~ But what a great story about getting the job, seeing the double rainbow AND the pelicans~ Can't wait to see the hub - tag me, please!


Ghost32 5 years ago

Awesome--easy to see why this Hub is kicking contest tail!

Ah, Prineville! Dropped a semi trailer load of big ol' brand new tires there once. But mainly, it sticks in my long term memory as home of (at the time) world famous saddle bronc rider, Ronnie Raymond.

Nah, we never met. He peaked just a bit ahead of my time, and I never got nearly as far in the pro rodeo world as he did, anyway. But still.

Now, about white pelicans specifically. In north central Montana, circa 1983, I was about to leave my job in Glendive (eastern MT) as an oilpatch roughneck, and drove to the small town of Chinook to interview for a job as a Social Worker II. Leaving the interview, I was greeted with the view of a stunning double rainbow--and escorted for some distance as well, by no less that three huge white pelicans.

It was then that I knew I'd get the job. Which I did, even though the ONLY reason I was selected...wait a minute. That's a whole 'nother Hub!

Voted up, awesome, and beautiful.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Angelique - it was one of those once in a lifetime experiences - loved it~ Have gone back about 3 times now in total and still following them~


Angelique Newman profile image

Angelique Newman 5 years ago from Canada

Wonderful hub and the pictures are just beautiful!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Peggy - and congrats to you for making this week's picks~! Best of luck to you, too!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Well deserved win in the contest and hope that you make it all the way to the top. Your information was fascinating and your photos incredible. Voting up!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks a bunch, Peter - only one problem - I have terrific performance anxiety problems when trying to speak or do anything in front of people like on a stage~ Oh well - me thinks I'll try and get it under control and give it a try!!

Thanks for the applause but most of all for the support!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia

Wow may I say firstly congratulations on winning the tug of war contest Well done (clapping)

Also congrats on the approach from Erin this Hub seems to have opened up new vistas in your life :-)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Wow~ How cool, Erin!! I will email you. I had such a good time seeing the birds and hope to see them many more times.


Erin Bennett 5 years ago

Your hub was so helpful, I'm the interpretive ranger at Prineville Reservoir. I've been learning about our pelicans here and plan to start teaching visitors about these amazing birds.

Would you ever consider coming out and sharing your photography and your expierence? I do weekly campfire programs. Saturdays are best attended. If you are interested, please email me at erin.bennett@state.or.us or call me at 541-447-4363.

Thanks, Erin


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Nellieanna - you are too kind~ It's so funny that I bought the camera for Bob and I seem to get such a kick out of using it - he is the photographer~ I always grab it away though and go let me, let me~ I just can't resist. He thinks I should get my own camera - perhaps he is right!! I do enjoy it and could click away for hours. Oh...I think I did! Glad you liked - it was a GREAT day in the life and times of one Audrey Kirchner to come upon these beauties though!

KM -Thanks so much - I had a ball as I said. Definitely an animal lover here, too. Thanks so much folks for the votes~!!


KMattox profile image

KMattox 5 years ago from USA

Wow akirchner, what a great hub! The birds are beautiful. The Shots are great. Thanks for a great hub! This hub was very informational and well done. I love good writing and we are animal lovers in my house so I loved it for a lot a reasons. I voted up and beautiful. See you later. :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Audrey - I'm blown away by this whole presentation! The photos are beyond beautiful. You should be with National Geographic with talent like that! And the information is superb. You bet I'll vote for this here on its page & for the Share & Share Alike Best Hub contest! It has to be the best! It is outstanding in every respect!

I can see why you'd love to camp out there indefinitely! Wow.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Denise - I am an old birder but forgot what it was like to see it just "appear" - it was truly the best day I've had in such a long time and only wish I hadn't been standing on a freaking highway - I could have camped out, taken my malamutes out of the rig and just stayed there forever!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

That must have been an amazing sight! Well written and interesting. Thanks for putting such a wonderful hub together.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Harvey~! The article isn't bad either - ha ha ha ha~ Take care!!


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

A, Nicely put together. H


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks JS - I loved taking the pictures! I meant that our Central Oregon pelicans were nonbreeders (at least for this year) - not sure why but think it has something to do with too much "busy-ness" at the reservoir and they need really quiet, secluded breeding grounds - like islands. They do breed in other parts of Oregon but then the ones that come through here (so far) are just catching up on their eating! Totally fascinating!!!


JSParker profile image

JSParker 5 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

I read both hubs in the contest and will vote for yours. Gorgeous photos, thoroughly researched, competently written. Excellent job! The only thing that made me hesitate, I'm confused why they would be called non breeding birds, when they do lay eggs.

Also voted beautiful.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Agvulpes - They truly are and glad you liked - love your avatar!

WBW - Thanks again!!!

Doctor Kristy - Thanks so much~


Doctor Kristy profile image

Doctor Kristy 5 years ago from Australia

Your article is really well written and very well-presented. Your photos are brilliant.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

Congrats on making the Tug of War.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia

Pelicans are such an amazing bird and you have indeed done them justice in this Hub. Voted up :-)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Ken - I read about them being "almost" endangered in parts of Canada - hope they'll fix that right quick and we shall have these beauties for many years to come.

You are most right - I'm for the birds~! Or was that I'm a birdbrain? Either way you look at it, I love animals I guess on all levels and birds are no exception. I'd forgotten that old hobby I had - birdwatching. What a kick!

Thanks for the votes and for being there - I couldn't ask for a better saddle~!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Hey Audrey you sure are for the birds:0) wink wink. Seriously though, great write on the White Pelican, we have them up north here in Canada and a lake I visit have them quite a lot, they come in every summer and get their fill of lake fish and fly off down south again.

They are a majestic bird and beautiful to watch in flight and landings on the water. This is a very informative hub and I voted for you and hope you win with this beauty. Hugs to you from your favorite Saddle:0)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks~!!!!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I did already! Wink wink!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks very much RHW~ If you haven't had a chance, please go on line and vote for someone, too~


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Very nice - awesome hub!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks so much to you, too Robie2 - hope you voted on Facebook but will take praise wherever I can find it~


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

loved this one-- pelican pix are fabulous


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks so much tnderhrt23~! Spectacular subjects and I had the best time!!!


tnderhrt23 5 years ago

You did a fabulous job with this hub! Well written, informative article with stunning photos! Great job!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks WannaBWriter - I do appreciate it!


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I loved the video you shared showing the grace of these birds. Wonderful hub! HOw fortunate you were to see and photograph these pelicans. Voted up and awesome, and you get my contest vote as well.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

KStyle - Thanks for the read and so glad you enjoyed~ They are truly one of the great bird wonders!!


KStyle 5 years ago

AK, I adore Pelicans,love photographing them too. Your hub and photos are Superior! WOW! Thank you for sharing these magnificent creatures with us. Both my husband and I believe that birds really are prehistoric and are big fans of them.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks BJ for stopping by - I haven't been so jazzed about a bird in years as I seem to have forgotten one of my other hobbies which is birding. I simply was mesmerized and Bob finally had to say 'I think you have over 500 pictures....we need to go home sometime today' - too funny. It's just like with the whales - I seem to be a sucker for anything alive~! It was a glorious thing and I am just so glad I decided to 'get out of the house' on a blistering summer day and go for a ride!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

These birds are amazing and fascinating, Audrey. Your photos are exceptional. When I watched the video it was almost like viewing a choreographed ballet with pelicans flying, swimming and dipping beneath the water in unison.

Thank you, m'luv, for this beautiful treat.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Simone - I had so much fun doing it - it was truly a wonderful sight indeed!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

WOW akirchner! What fascinating birds!! I'm really surprised to read that they weigh so little, seeing as they come across as so large and imposing, but I suppose most birds are light for their appearance!

Your photos are amazing and I really enjoyed learning about something about which I know next to nothing. Voted up, beautiful, and awesome!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

chspublish - Thanks so much for watching the video and sadly, mine were too far away. I did observe them doing just what the other folks in Central Oregon saw though pretty much though not quite as many in one area. The drawing up the fish in the "net"/their sac is amazing and if you look closely at the pics you can even see the fish inside there!

Thanks Pamela - me, too - it's been a while since I actively birded and it made me realize I was missing it!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I love birds and these white pelicans are especially beautiful. I love all you pictures. Great hub!


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Great video really showing the beauty and the 'smartness' of catching fish. Is that your video? What luck to see them in a natural setting.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Upal19 - They are indeed - enjoyed my find immensely~ Thanks so much for the read.

Sister mine - Wish you were there to see how incredible it all was. Truly splendor and I was lucky to enjoy a moment of bliss in capturing them. Thanks so much for the support~


Dorea Tate 5 years ago

Beautiful pictures of such beautiful birds! You captured their splendor in motion!! Nice hub!


upal19 profile image

upal19 5 years ago from Dhaka

Lovely bird, nice video. Thanks for sharing.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Susan - Thanks so much for the congrats and for the reads....I couldn't believe my luck with the photos~!

Nell - How awesome. I love Kites but then I'm a birder from way back!

Will - Thanks so much!


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WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Beautiful birds and an excellent Hub.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, these are amazing birds, a 9ft wing span must be an awesome sight to see, fantastic information, really enjoyed reading this, I am a big bird fan, as we have Kites behind my house, and I am always watching them, their wingspan must be at least 6 ft, cheers nell


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Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I have always been fascinated with these beautiful birds. I enjoyed your article very much and learned so much. You really got some amazing shots of them.

Meant to send you a message to say Congrats on the BBQ recipe win.

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