Perfect Pelicans

Last Tuesday when I was down at the Bow River, I was witness to a great birding spectacle; photogenic pelicans putting on a show of flying, landing and swimming. I was able to count up 27 of these social and gregarious birds at one time, half of them circling in the sky while the other half loafed around on the banks of the river. Among the world’s largest birds and gracing the air with a wingspan of over 2 meters, the American White Pelican can swallow fish up to 30cm (12 inches) long and must eat 2 kg (4 lbs) of fish a day.

Several Pelicans made a show of coming in for a landing.

They came closer and closer…

Until it seemed as though they were right beside me…

Their feathers were absolutely stunning against the blue sky.

This Pelican was demonstrating the mechanics of a good landing…

Before finally putting down the landing gear.

If you look carefully at this last photo, you may just be able to make out a Franklin’s Gull at the far right of the screen. This gull was flying at roughly the same altitude as the pelicans and shows the massive size difference between the two. After Tuesday, Pelicans have become a bird I love to watch.

Posted by Matthew Sim

3 thoughts on “Perfect Pelicans

  1. Great shots, Matthew! I have to say that although it may be safer for boaters to have removed the weir by the Pearce Estate, I miss watching a hundred Pelicans lined up and fishing in front of it.

Drop us a line!