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California Brown Pelicans Diving

Friday, January 14, 2011

 California Brown Pelicans Diving

A unique characteristic of the Brown Pelican is their habit of plunge feeding. They dive from the air to catch fish. Other pelican species such as the White Pelican feed only while sitting at the surface. When performing their aerial high dives, Brown Pelicans will often group together and feed in mass. They have a keen eye for spotting schools of bait, such as sardine or anchovies that are massed just below the surface. Once the school is spotted and a few birds begin to circle and dive, others will converge zeroing in on the spot often from great distances. If the bait is held at the surface by other predators from beneath a true feeding frenzy can ensue.

This shot has other birds such as cormorants and gulls mixed in but the vast majority are Brown Pelicans. I have not tried to count them all but there must be nearly 100 individuals in this frame.

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 California Brown Pelicans Diving Picture
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ID# BPL-111
Brown Pelicans Feeding
species: Pelecanus occidentalis
picture-id: BPL-111 request pricing Google Earth

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