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Contemplation at Sunset

Contemplation at Sunset
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
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-10-17 17:15
Viewed: 3154
Points: 38
[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.


jeonpaolo, Pentaxfriend, cecilia, mamcg, thor68, horia, MMM, kjpweb, uleko, warnzy, Aaltjie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

I LOVE you picture!
You have all the elements required ofr a gold star photo!
Backgorund, Lighting, moment, subject....

  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2007-10-17 17:40]

Still working with the pelicans, eh? Well I think our eye imporves by being able to go back and photograph the same subject a second, third, or fourth time, and I sure see it here. Great tight compo on the bird. The light is really the star of the shot, though. You could call it "Sunset with pelican."

Hi Manyee,

Excellent lighting in this shot
Great compo, sharpness, colours and DOF
i also like your POV very much

TFS Thijs

Wow! the lighting looks great - the pose, detail and colour are awesome...
Well done...

Excellent colour from the sun. I sure like this pose.
Very sharp details as well.

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2007-10-17 22:39]

this is terrific, the golden light is awesome and the great meditating pose of the pretty pelican as well.
technically top quality as usual - pov, sharpness, details - terrific, but the light, again, and still, wow!
well done & best wishes, thor.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-10-18 3:15]

Hi Manyee

Another stunning pelican shot from you and another amazing moment captured here! The timing of the shot is impeccable and it made all the colors even more shining and saturated...a simply joy to my eyes!
The composition you managed is also terrific and the DOF here is excellent - keeping only the pelican in full focus, isolating him from amything else, but also giving an impression of the habitat in the BG...superb!
The details are sharp and clear as usual, the POV is great and the presentation lovely.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-10-18 6:00]

Hello Manyee
Very nice composition.The lightning is outstanding.Very sharp image whit excelelnt POV and details.Color and DOF are also very good.Nice catch-;ight in the eye.
TFS Michel

Gorgeous light and detail! Well balanced capture! Bravo, Manyee! Cheers, Klaus

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2007-10-18 7:25]

Beautiful shot Manyee! The sunset colors complement this Brown Pelican very nicely! Good job!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-10-18 9:23]

Hello Manyee,
Wonderful capture of this Pelican in a fine pose. The light is wonderful and focus on the bird perfect. Excellent sharpness and lovely colours too. Well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Wow Manyee,

You are getting incredible results with your equipment. The light is what makes this picture. Very well done.


Hello Maynee,

This is a great picture. I love the overall golden tone, which helps emphasise the amazing detail in the feathers. Nice detail in the water, good composition and great light. Superb.

Kind regards,


Hi Manyee,

This is a wonderful photo - the colours and lighting are stunning! You've caught a great pose as well - what a magnificent bird.

It's a shame the POV wasn't just a little higher so there was no shore in the background, in my opinion, I feel it would have been even better with just water - but there was probably not much you could do about that! Lovely shot. TFS, Doug

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-10-19 9:00]

Hello Manyee ! That's a great image my friend, what a light ! Very sharp, well composed nad perfect exposure ! Masterpiece work ! Have a super Weekend !


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-10-20 1:54]

Hello Manyee,
What a superb colours in this photo. Fantastic light. Great sharpness, BG, POV, DOF and composition. A masterpiece!

Imagine my surprise when I went to your intro page and found Jin Yao in place of you! : ) He is cute... but so are you.

This is another nice shot with your pelican bathed in golden light. I think perhaps a bit more space at the bottom might feel a little better... leaving room for his feet even though one can't see them because of the water. I've found that that makes a big difference with all my animals shots with grass etc hiding their feet.

Evelynn : )

Hi Manyee,

What a lovely picture, the light is gorgeous on the pelican, great details of the feathers also. Very nicely done, congratulations!!


Hi Manyee,
There is a lot of nice detail and warm colors in this super capture of this pelican. Your not kidding when you say they hang around fishing boats, I was down in Peru watching these groups of these birds living on th edecks of fishing vessels. A really cool bird. Happy Holidays! :)

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