July 14, 2009

The pelican chicks are now full-grown and are learning to fly. After twelve weeks on dry land, it must be quite a thrill to take to the air! We filmed several chicks fledging like this one. Sometimes they circle around and fly back to the slope where they were born, but eventually they find their way to that big flat blue expanse they’ve been staring at for so long, and they discover that it’s wet, and they can swim! Their large webbed feet cause pelicans to waddle on land, but they’re perfect for paddling. We filmed young birds poking their beaks underwater, slicing sideways at the seaweed, and making short tentative dives. They have a lot to learn. Soon they’ll migrate north, and I hope to see some of them in San Francisco Bay. This film shoot concludes Gigi’s “backstory”: her life as a hatchling, young chick, and fledgling, before she landed on the GG Bridge.

Baby Pelican Fledges



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