September 4, 2010

“Pelican Dreams” had its first high-speed HD shoot (120 frames per second) in the Channel Islands, focusing on young pelicans playing and diving. We got some dreamy sunset dive shots in Smuggler’s Cove looking toward Anacapa; see photo at left. Another shot I liked shows an adult and a fledgling flying together; when the adult takes an elegant dive the youngster flails around twisting in the air and dives too. They both hit the water at the same time. The adult gets a fish but the young one doesn’t. (“More to learn!” The little one is probably thinking. “I’m sticking with this big guy.”) They take off together into the sunset. Seeing the action slowed down by a factor of five revealed another way that pelicans can be compared to dogs: They wag their tails! After diving, after playing keep-away with a piece of kelp, while swimming or preening: I’d never really noticed how often they wag their wide, stubby tails.

Pelican Dive at Sunset

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One Response to “September 4, 2010”

  1. george Says:

    as a pelican enthusiast on Anacapa, you’re my best source for this weird question. about 10 years ago I found a book at a garage sale- kids book about Pelican Bill the Fisherman. It was written by someone in southern California and I used to read it to my daughter. Now that book is gone. Have you ever heard of such a book? It was the size and length of a typical Dr. Seuss book and talked all about the various birds around the channel islands but centered on the pelican of Anacapa Island.

    Thanks if you can help!

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