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Full Steam Ahead!

Full Steam Ahead!
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/1600 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-09-17 23:18
Viewed: 2727
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Brown Pelican
Pelecanus occidentalis

Grand gosier, Pélican brun (French)
Alcatraz, Pelícano café, Pelícano pardo (Spanish)

Unique among the world's seven species of pelicans, the Brown Pelican is found along the ocean shores and not on inland lakes. It is the only dark pelican, and also the only one that plunges from the air into the water to catch its food.

Large, dark waterbird.
Long bill with extensible pouch.
Legs short.
Body large and heavy.
Feet webbed.
Wings long and broad.
Tail short.
Soars close to water surface.
Dives from the air into the water.
Size: 100-137 cm (39-54 in)
Wingspan: 200 cm (79 in)
Weight: 2000-5000 g (70.6-176.5 ounces)
Sexes look alike; males slightly larger.

Generally silent away from nesting colony. Nestling squawks for food; adults have low, hoarse display calls.

Conservation Status:
Shooting for feathers and to "protect" fishing caused declines in pelican populations in the first half of the 20th century. Pesticide poisoning, especially by DDT, caused severe declines across the range in the late 1950's and the extirpation from Louisiana ("the pelican state"). It was listed as Endangered throughout the range in 1970. The ban on DDT led to a population recovery, and it was removed from the Endangered Species list in Atlantic Coast states in 1985. Breeding numbers in most states are stable or increasing, and the total population in the United States now exceeds historical levels.

Cool Facts:

While the Brown Pelican is draining the water from its bill after a dive, gulls often try to steal the fish right out of its pouch. They sometimes even perch on the pelican's head or back and reach in. The pelican itself, however, is not above stealing fish from other seabirds. It also follows fishing boats and hangs around piers for handouts.
The Brown Pelican frequently lowers its head onto its shoulders with the bill open, pulls its head back, and stretches the pouch over its throat and neck. The exposed neck looks like a large lump sticking up out of the pouch.
Unlike most birds, which warm their eggs with the skin of their breasts, pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet. They hold the eggs under the webs that stretch from the front toes to the hind toe, essentially standing on the eggs to warm them. This peculiar incubation method made them vulnerable to the effects of the pesticide DDT. The DDT made the eggshells thin, and the incubating parents frequently cracked their eggs.


Aaltjie, pvs, haraprasan, SelenE, SunToucher, marhowie, MMM has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Dear Manyee
What a splendid photo. It seems that this guy is really enjoying himself, and this looks to me like a real dignified gentleman, but on the other hand, it is as this pelican is somewhat shy. Don’t know why, but it does. Maybe it is the slightly downward look. Thanks for the very interesting note, and I truly enjoyed the cool facts.
Thanks for sharing and warmest regards.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-09-18 1:32]

Hi Manyee,

An excellent composition,I like everything about this compo,the subject,the POV,The sharpness and the DOF,but what makes this capture is the light,excellent camerawork and tfs


A nice picture with good composition and POV. Framing and composition are wonderful.
Best wishes,

Hi ManYee,
This is certainly a wonderful species of the Pelican family. The way its white head stand out from it dark body is beautiful. You also captured him in a very beautiful pose. It looks a bit shy. I like the eye contact you had and the details in the feathers. The lighting in the photo is magnificent. It gave such a beautiful and warm golden color on both the bird and water.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-09-18 10:56]

Hello Manyee,
The light in this photo is mysterious. Very beautiful. The photo is sharp and has a good composition, DOF and POV.

This is another nice shot taken in the afternoon light. Nice sharpness and exposure. I really like the limited color palette and how the light on the water tones with the colors of the subject.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-09-18 19:19]

Hi Manyeee
What a great capture.Your image is so nice and sharp with great details .Excellent POV and lovely DOF .Colors are very nice.I also like thecatch light in the eye and the drop off water in suspension in the air.
TFS Michel

Hi Manyee,
A lovely capture of this beautiful brown pelican. Nice details and composition of water as BG. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-09-19 0:45]

Hi Manyee,
Light, color tones and composition are very nice. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Manyee,
I really think this is a beautiful shot, the exposure to me couldn't be any better, this image has so much nice texture to it. :)

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