Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Australian Pelican

Last Friday, I detoured from the Orford Fairy Tern colony, to visit Little Swanport (Saltworks Reserve). I was fotunate to arrive there just as a couple of fishermen were cleaning their catch on the launching ramp. This event drew in Pelicans, Kelp, Pacific and a few Silver Gulls, to fight over the spoils. By and large, the Pelicans won, only their reluctance to get too close, allowed the gulls an occasional feed. While taking the accompanying shots, I realised that one of the Pelicans was considerably smaller than all the others. I took a few shots of this (one on left), but I was all too eager to get shots of these fantastic birds in flight, and forgot all about this until I came to review the images on the PC. This shot of the 2 Pelicans, give some idea of the size difference. I'm aware that the males are bigger than the females, but this small bird, seems to be very small, and it's not an illusion! Has anyone seen a similar size differential? I've managed to limit myself to 'only' two shots of Pelicans in flight, but I think this is when they look their best. The Australian Pelican is Australia's largest flying bird, and according to several sites on the internet, has the World's largest bill.

4 comments:

John Tongue said...

They are magnificent birds, but I can't say I've ever notcied such a marked size differential.

Duncan said...

Ripper shots Alan, look at the bend in the flight feathers.

John Tongue said...

You can really "see" the load each feather is caryring in keeping such a large bird aloft!

BirdingTas said...

Thanks, Duncan and John for your comments. They are magnificent flyers and I never tire of photographing them--still looking for that ultimate image! I hope Duncan that you're bearing up under the bushfire threat, I'm sure it is getting very wearing. And thanks for the "exposure" on the 'I and The Bird' blog.