Key West, Florida, February 1999

Minolta Maxxum 600si, Sigma 70 to 300 at 300
Kodak Ektachrome Slide, iso 100, spot metered

Brown Pelican (Pelicanus occidentalis)

The Brown Pelican is a large bird with a 6½ foot wingspan. It has an immense bill, and in breeding season its distensible gular (throat) pouch is olive to red. The body is grayish-brown with a blackish belly. Non-breeding adults have white heads and necks; breeding adults have dark chestnut hind-necks and a yellow patch at the base of the fore-neck. Immature Brown Pelicans have dark heads. In flight, the long neck is folded back on the body.

The Brown Pelican is a coastal bird that is rarely found away from the sea. The birds on the Pacific Coast nest on islands off the coasts of southern California and Mexico. After the breeding season, they move north along the coast, frequenting shallow marine areas such as bays, offshore islands, spits, breakwaters, and open sandy beaches.
While foraging, Brown Pelicans dive from 30 feet or more in the air, plunging headfirst into the water to catch fish. If successful, they throw their heads back to swallow prey. Brown Pelicans feed and roost together, and nest in colonies. Groups of Brown Pelicans may be seen flying low over the waves or in loose formation at greater heights. Brown Pelicans are generally silent after fledging.


florida, birds, tropical, pelicans, waterfowl, wildfowl, key west, feetyur

In love with Ma Nature! Always have been, always will be. Let’s keep her safe, eh?

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  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaabout 5 years ago

    WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW The clarity and colours are mind-blowing! An instant favorite!

  • Your kind words are greatly appreciated and thanks so much for the “fav”, Al.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Virginia N. Fred
    Virginia N. Fredabout 5 years ago

    FAntastic work

  • Thank you so very much, Gina.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganabout 5 years ago

    Stunning portrait shot

  • Greatly appreciated, Tina.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Fred Mitchell
    Fred Mitchellabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful, bird and photo of it.

  • Thank you very much, FM. Greatly appreciated. You just have to love the colours slide film renders.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Sharon Perrett
    Sharon Perrettabout 5 years ago

    What a lovely close up , a beautiful bird, wonderful clarity and detail

  • Thank you very much for your kind words, Sharon.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Angel Warda
    Angel Wardaabout 5 years ago

  • Thanks so very much for the Feature. A great honour!

    – Mike Oxley

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageover 4 years ago

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageover 4 years ago

    bravo !
    my best, your host (francis).

  • Many, many thanks, Francis! A wonderful surprise and greatly appreciated honour!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Les Wazny
    Les Waznyover 4 years ago

    Beautiful Mike! Love the colour in this!

  • Thanks so very much, Les, and I greatly appreciate the favourite, too! Colours courtesy of Ektachrome slide film. Pretty hard to beat!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    Wonderful capture Mike

  • MAny, many thanks, Larry, and I greatly appreciate the “fave”, too!

    – Mike Oxley

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