American White Pelican Portraits

Portrait of an American White PelicanPortrait of an American White Pelican – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

It isn’t all that often that I am able to obtain portraits of wild birds so when I had an opportunity last month to take these American White Pelican portraits I jumped at the chance. This pelican and another were foraging near a road on the auto tour of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge when this one came closer to the road than I thought it would. I like portraits because they show details in the face that aren’t as easily seen as compared to a full body shot. In this frame I also caught one of the tiny fish in mid air that the pelican caught about 1/3 of the way from the tip of the bill.

American White Pelican portraitAmerican White Pelican portrait – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I like this frame because of the water droplets. I took several other portraits of this pelican that morning along with some full body images too. I always feel honored when wild birds feel comfortable enough in my presence to come closer than I expect. It happened more frequently in Florida because the birds were more used to human presence than they are here in Utah.

Life is good.

Even when it is cloudy and there isn’t enough light to go shooting.  🙂



  1. Montanagirl October 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm


  2. Lois Bryan September 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    astonishing detail!!!!!!

  3. Elephant's Child September 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Such a privilege for you (and us) to see. Thank you.

  4. Patty Chadwick September 30, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    They are certainly bizzare looking birds…when I see shots of one of them with a huge fish in their pouch, it make me wonder how the heck they’re going to be able to swallow the darned thing…their throats don’t look big enough to handle a big fish, even if their pouches are…a school of little ones, yes..but a really big one…????

  5. Chris Rohrer September 30, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Portraits are my favorites. Especially when the bird doesn’t mind a close up….or two:) I always love seeing these pelicans.

  6. Samantha Biobabbler September 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Ah, lovely. They are a personal favorite of mine, and I’ve certainly never seen them THAT closely. Super cool. =)

  7. Jolanta September 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Fantastic portrait!

  8. Ian Holland September 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Really nice photos!

Comments are closed.