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I had been trying for many years to get some nice shots of white pelicans, and this past Fall my efforts and energy finally paid off. To say the least, I am extremely happy with this panoramic photo. The white pelican is one of the largest winged birds in North America and spends most if its life in the northern reaches of Canada. Beginning in early Fall they migrate south to Florida and beyond. During this time it is the breeding season and the feet and bills become a bright pinkish orange. When sexually mature, the white around the eyes turns yellow and the males grow a raised knob on their bills they use in sparring over females. At the end of the season, the knob falls off like a deer antler. They begin to head back north around mid February and early March. One early morning in November while driving up the coast, I saw this tremendous flock of white pelicans land on a nearshore barrier island. When I got to the spot, I pulled over and watched them for over an hour, wishing I had a way to get out there and take photos. I couldn't think of any better option short of swimming and that wasn't going to work carrying some large, expensive and heavy telephoto lenses over my head in salt water. I did consider it though rather seriously! Somewhat discouraged, I got back in my van and continued to drive on, thinking I'm never going to get the opportunity I so desperately wanted. Little did I know then that 2 miles up the road my luck was about to change! I came around a bend and there in front of me, parked along the water was a white van with a couple kayaks on top and a little hand painted sign that said,"kayak rentals". I was in luck! Three days later I was rewarded with this image as I slowly drifted towards them. Just as I reached the edge of their comfort zone, they all stood up, faced me and then launched into the air and disappeared from view around the bend. It was an incredible sight to behold when 298 extremely large birds launched into the air at once! And yes, as they flew away, I took pictures and counted everyone of them. I love the way these wild birds are facing the same direction. The 3 black cormorants leading on the left and the lovely piece of driftwood leading into the image from the right frame the image with an added touch. Try setting that up, sometimes its just better to be lucky! If you are a pelican lover like me, than this image is meant for you! I can't help but smile every time I look at it. This panoramic image will fill the spots where nothing else seems to work, and give your room an added touch.
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