MEET PETE – A PARTICULARLY PECULIAR PELICAN!!

A recent visit to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, found me quite surprised by this one solitary Brown Pelican.  A particularly peculiar pelican whom I shall call, Pete!  As I was walking through the reserve, I noticed all of the birds were feeding a few hundred yards away – definitely out of my camera range.  My 28-135mm zoom just would not bring them into range, even with a massive crop.  Not only were they out of my camera range, they had migrated to an area where humans were not allowed access.  Pretty smart on their part, I must say!

After several minutes of watching what was a tremendous photo opportunity slip away, I changed perspective and began to look out across the horizon in the opposite direction.  Still nothing! 

Ready to give up and accept the fact that I would not be shooting anything here, I turned once again to see the feeding frenzy that was taking place a few hundred yards away.  Suddenly and without any apparent reason out of that frenzy of activity, a single solitary Brown Pelican broke away and began flying in my direction.  It was Pete!

With my camera hanging around my neck, I quickly began to frame a shot in the rare case that Pete continued toward me.  And, he did!  It was as if Pete could sense my disappointment and decided to give me a brief opportunity to grab some quick shots!

There was an oddity about this situation, though.  As Pete continued to approach, his attention seemed to be directed specifically at me.  Our eyes met and I immediately realized he was not there to hunt for food.  He never even attempted a feeding dive.  Maybe there wasn’t any food.  I’m not sure.  He simply flew 200-300 yards to my position.  Then staring at me the entire time, he flew directly over my head, and then made a pass gliding by allowing me to snap several photos.

Following the glide-by pictured above he turned, gave me this pose, and flew back to the others to continue feeding. 

Was he hunting?  Yeah, probably!  But, why not choose to believe he saw my camera hanging around my neck and decided to give me a brief fly by!!  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Thanks for stopping by!

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~ by photographyfree4all on November 3, 2010.

37 Responses to “MEET PETE – A PARTICULARLY PECULIAR PELICAN!!”

  1. that is some outstanding bird-in-flight shooting there, I do really like the third shot with the turned head. great timing and focus scquisition!

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  2. btw, good choice of new banner image for the blog, too

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  3. Oh Pete is so cute, he posed for you…the last shot. Wow.

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  4. I really was surprised by his behavior and he was really only there for a minute or two! The last shot was by far my favorite, too! Thanks, John!

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  5. I knew that last shot would be the favorite of this set, Elena! I’m so glad you stopped by today! Thanks!

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  6. Thanks for that, John! My favorite beach…

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  7. What a ham! 😉

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  8. Love the last shot! Fantastic!

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  9. I know! He really was funny, Barb! Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Awesome story and awesome shots! LOVE the third one – unique form on the bird, amazing eye contact and colors! Just wonderful!

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  11. Leave it to Pete…

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  12. Intersting story! Sounds like an amazing experience, and great shots that came out of it! I like the third especially, with the pelican staring straight at the camera (or indeed, at you! :)) and with that posture. It also works best for me because of the good positioning in the image and the absence of disturbing background. Great capture!

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  13. WOW! I’m very impressed by these photos.

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  14. Hi Tracy! It was really fun getting these shots. I do have to admit, I had given up for the day. It seemed pretty weird at the time. I’m really glad you stopped by today.

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  15. I agree, Heather. He just looked like a “Pete” to me! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  16. For this shot, Pete ascended to make the turn and separated himself from the water to enable a little more background blur. I think that makes the background a little less distracting. Thanks for another great comment, Kai! I’m glad you stopped by.

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  17. Hey, thanks Kevin! It’s something I really began to get serious about last April. I guess it’s that creative side of me working its way out! Thanks for leaving this comment! Say “Hi” to everyone for me!

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  18. Great images of a Brown Pelican in flight. I congratulate you on them. They can be difficult to obtain. I agree, that is a unique expression in the last photo. Great work.

    Bob

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  19. Thanks a lot, Bob! I consider that to be high praise from the primo bird photographer!! 🙂 I was hoping you’d comment on these shots. I really appreciate it, Bob! Thanks, again.

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  20. Amazing shots of Pete. I especially like the last one. The expression is priceless. As always, love your story telling. This story reminds me of your encounter with “Red”. 🙂

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  21. What a lot of beautiful shots! It seems as if he were posing…

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  22. I’d like to think he was posing, but know that’s not likely, Kuukisu! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this comment with everyone today! Stop back again!

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  23. Good to see you again, Emily! Thanks for sharing this comment. It’s just me, I guess. When I find myself shooting, I almost always think of a story as I’m snapping away. This time, it was – I can’t believe this pelican flew down here to give me these shots…literally out of the blue! 🙂

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  24. I love your story and I am sticking to it!! I think those kind of things all the time. I love Pelicans and love that Pete provided a fly by. I usually think that about the seaguls at the beach, I feel like it’s the spirit of my dad providing me some humor and a good bit of story to tell. Thanks for the smile.

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  25. That was a wonderful story and beautiful pictures! Sends me off into the day with a smile on my face. 😉

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  26. You are lucky to have a new good flying friend, who likes posing for your camara!! Maybe that is what I must hope for to get such great bird-shots 😉 – Nice work!

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  27. Thank you for stopping by and sharing this comment, Lauracee! I’m glad this gave you just a bit of reflection today. It does make one wonder, sometimes. I hope you’ll stop by again, soon.

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  28. Cynthia, I’m glad I was able to help start your day with a smile! And, I’m really glad you shared your comment this morning. That was a good start to me day! Thanks.

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  29. Truels, you have a beautiful shot on your blog right now – an amazing fall scene!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment today. I was really ready to pack it in for the day – I’m glad I didn’t! Thanks!

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  30. They are all great shots but that last one is amazing! Made me chuckle too. Looks like Pete was hamming it up for you. 🙂

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  31. Smart Pelican! In Florida the birds always hang out with fishermen. I’m sure from far away your camera gear looked liked fishing gear to him. He had to fly over to be sure you didn’t have any extra bait fish to throw his way. Once he realized there was no free lunch involved he went back to his business. Lucky you were quick with taking a few shots.

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  32. Thanks, Robin! I’ve received a lot of comments about that last shot and I have to say, I never seen a pose like that one before. I’m glad you stopped by today!

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  33. You might be exactly right, FlaScenics! Finally, we may know the reason behind this peculiar behavior! I have to say, I never thought of that. I’m glad you stopped by today. I really hope you’ll come back again, soon.

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  34. Spectacular shots! Those birds hardly ever stay still. Now say, “Pete the particularly peculiar pelican 5x in a row. LOL! You’ve got to make a book someday – with the stories!

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  35. Thank you for this comment, Carolyn! Honestly, I can’t even say it three times fast…

    A book seems like such a fascinating idea!

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  36. […] Meet Pete – A Particularly Peculiar Pelican […]

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  37. […] I thought I would share another capture from my latest visit to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, California.  Yes, I do believe it could be Pete! […]

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