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Old May 9, 2007, 3:18 PM   #1
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Pelicans at 8,000 feet

Last year when I found them I was very surprised and a couple of old timers told me they show up every few years. They are back again this year. They hang out in a cove by what I call El Vado Mesa at the North end of El Vado Lake.. Every morning they fly off some where and then return later in the day. I am going to try and figure out where they are going so I can get some more photos.

The elevation here in our valley is around 8,000 feet.


Here they are at El Vado Mesa Cove.



Off to some where for the day



A closer look at one of them




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Old May 9, 2007, 3:23 PM   #2
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this must be their mating plumage as they are not as dramatic when they winter here. good shots

roy
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Old May 9, 2007, 4:59 PM   #3
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Nice shots Roger, especially the third one. What is that coming out of (or on top of) his beak in the last shot?

Tim
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Old May 9, 2007, 7:32 PM   #4
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robar wrote:
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this must be their mating plumage as they are not as dramatic when they winter here. good shots

roy
Hi Roy, I don't know why but they are real pretty right now. You are probably right about their mating plumage. Thanks for looking and for the information.

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Old May 9, 2007, 7:35 PM   #5
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NonEntity1 wrote:
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Nice shots Roger, especially the third one. What is that coming out of (or on top of) his beak in the last shot?

Tim
Good question Tim??? I looked it up.

"Pelicans have a vertebra in their neck, which prohibits them from ever raising their face. The white pelican is 60 in. in length and 107 in. in width, one of the largest of the 8 true species of pelicans. They have a yellowish pouch connected to the lower mandible of the beak that stretches up to six inches. Their bodies are mostly white, with black primaries and outer secondaries, which are hidden until the bird outstretches it's enormous wings. During mating season the male develops a fibrous plate on the upper part of the beak, this is a unique characteristic of the white pelican. Also the bill is bright orange during the mating season. Their feet are orange, and are webbed not only between the four front toes but also between the second toe and the inwardly directed back toe. They have an enormous wingspan of 8 - 9.5 feet. Their legs are orange, and are extremely short.

Tim thanks for the good question and for looking.


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Old May 9, 2007, 8:52 PM   #6
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Great shots Roger, now that they have left Roys place it is up to you to get photos of them.

Tom
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Old May 9, 2007, 9:29 PM   #7
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ennacac wrote:
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Great shots Roger, now that they have left Roys place it is up to you to get photos of them.

Tom
Cooool " The Roy & Roger Pelican Team" Sounds like a gooood team to me. Tom thanks for looking and for commenting.

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Old May 9, 2007, 10:22 PM   #8
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WackyRoger wrote:
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. During mating season the male develops a fibrous plate on the upper part of the beak, this is a unique characteristic of the white pelican. Tim thanks for the good question and for looking.


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Hey, thanks for the answer, it is another new thing I learned today. You know, my kids spend hours watching Animal Planet and Discovery channels on TV. They should hang out here instead!

Tim
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Old May 10, 2007, 12:16 AM   #9
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Roger - interesting pictures and interesting information about the pelican. Thanks for posting them.
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Old May 10, 2007, 1:03 AM   #10
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robar wrote:
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this must be their mating plumage as they are not as dramatic when they winter here. good shots

roy
Actually a comnpletely different species than the typcical SE to mid Atlantic migrating pelicans most think of. (Commonly called brown or gray) Those never look like that from juvenile through adulthood.... except for their head feathers.


ED Opps see Roger already covered that.
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