Juvenile Brown Pelican portrait

Juvenile Brown Pelican vertical portraitJuvenile Brown Pelican vertical portrait – Nikon D200, handheld, f8, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 270mm, natural light, not baited

I like Brown Pelicans and even though I don’t see them here in Utah I have plenty of images on file that I took during the period of time that I lived in Florida. This juvenile Brown Pelican was resting and preening on some rocks near the Gulf Pier of Fort De Soto County Park when I photographed it. I was able to walk slowly up to the Brown Pelicans on the rocks and photograph them at close range without disturbing them because they are very habituated to the presence of people near the pier.

Being close, using a low ISO helped me to get a wonderful portrait of this young Brown Pelican that shows marvelous details. Besides that I like this pose and the eye contact.


It should be said that the pier can be a dangerous place for these pelicans plus the cormorants, egrets, herons and gulls that are there looking for a handout because they can get entangled in fishing line or swallow a hook. Fort De Soto does have used fishing line containers and the park staff is wonderful about cleaning up the fishing line.

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Fascinating bird, and a superior photo.

  2. I enjoy seeing these Brown Pelicans too, and was also able to approach one for a good photo a few years back in Florida. Yours is much better than mine of course. Thanks!

  3. Beautiful portrait Mia!

  4. A lovely bundle of Pelican.

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