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Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:06 AM   #1
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Pentax K10D with DA 55-300mm

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Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:06 AM   #2
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:07 AM   #3
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:08 AM   #5
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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Wow! That last one is really "up close and personal" with the brown pelican! They are all goood!
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 3:06 PM   #7
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Ditto
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 5:21 AM   #8
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terrific shots, are they really brown ?, they look gray to me.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 1:29 PM   #9
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Thanks, Harriet, GW and Rodney. Rodnay, Adult Brown Pelicans have a silvery overlay bordered by dark brown on their feathers, so only the juveniles are solid brown. In breding their are rich brown areas that are not present in winter.

Brown Pelicans are attracted to concentrations of fish at sea, where predators drive bait fish to the surface. Fish trapped in commercial purse seines also attract them. Similarly, they are attracted to baited fishing lines where fishermen concentrate, such as along piers, where they sometimes are caught after being hooked. Some commercial and sport fishermen (by no meanns all of them) are angered by these incidents and tkey out their revenge on the birds. The local wildlife rehab center always has some. In the last week or so 11 pelicans have washed ashore at Bolsa Chica State Beach with both wings broken in such a way that it could only have been done by human hands. A $5000 reward had been posted and is to be at least doubled, because no one has come forward - according to the head of the local Fish & Wildlife enforcement office quoted in the local morning paper, as the Brown Pelican is still on the Endangered Species list the perpetrator(s) is/are subject to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine each per count! (this may have been a misprint - I belive $10,000 should the correct figure)

The juvenile Brown Pelican in the last two frames has a scar on the right side of the pouch and a notch opposite on the edge of the left side of the lower jaw that may be from a fish hook (pouch, right side) and leader (jaw, left side). It may be a rehabed bird, as tears in the pouch must be repaired or they may tear further when the pouch expandes to encompass the fish as the bill enteres the water on the dive.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 2:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for the additional information - I never knew they were listed as endangered. I've seen them flying along the beach, both north of Monterey and at Pismo. They are much more impressive than the gulls. Itseems like I had always seen them flying until once when we were in Pismo. Then I got fairly close to one that was perched on the pier's guardrail - it watched me but didn't seem interested in moving. While I can sympathize with a fisherman being unhappy that a pelican steals a meal from him, but I hate to think that they would be so destructive as to purposely break their wings.
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