Yup, still here, still birdblogging. Story behind the photo below the break.
Pelicans are just about my favorite animals, avian or otherwise, to photograph. (There will be more pelican shots to come, be assured.) The depth of character in the face and bearing of a pelican is absolutely bottomless. It’s not at all surprising that pelicans pervaded the Pixar film Finding Nemo; if you’re a cartoonist drawing pelicans, the expressiveness of even a non-anthropomorphized pelican does all the work for you! (Of course, giving him a voice like Geoffrey Rush’s doesn’t hurt either.)
I saw this row of white pelicans at the Punta Rassa marina in Fort Myers, FL, situated on the mainland end of the causeway connecting Fort Myers with Sanibel Island. The dock at the marina is always carpeted with birds, especially in the middle of the day when the small charter fishing boats return from their morning trips. When the boats pull in, they open up their live-bait tanks and let any birds waiting at the dock help themselves to whatever bait went unused that morning. Naturally the pelicans get the lion’s share, since their pouches let them scoop up loads of bait at a time, and their size lets them shove aside most competitors.
These three, which I’m guessing are females due to the absence of the knobby growth on the upper bill that appears on males during mating season, were hanging back from the dock nonchalantly while most of the other birds sat directly on the pilings staking out the boats. These three weren’t fooling anybody, though…you just knew they’d be dive-bombing the bait tanks as soon as they appeared.