American White Pelicans in the spotlight

American White Pelican in the spotlightAmerican White Pelican in the spotlight – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I give up on having a “normal” winter here in northern Utah so I am starting to dream about migration and the birds I will see in the spring. This has been the “winter that wasn’t” and I don’t think that is going to change.

I know that before long I will be seeing big, white birds wheeling in the sky overhead, floating on the Bear River in Box Elder County or feeding at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge. Those big, white birds are American White Pelicans with their nearly 9 foot wingspans and long bills.

I always seemed to have a hard time getting close to American White Pelicans that over wintered in Florida but I don’t have that problem here in Utah where they breed.

American White Pelican gliding by over my headAmerican White Pelican gliding by over my head – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I’m able to enjoy American White Pelicans close up here from late February until as late as December some years but typically I stop seeing them around the early part of November. So, since the temperatures have been so much warmer than normal I wouldn’t be surprised to see American White Pelicans any day now.

Not surprised at all.

Life is good.



  1. Jolanta February 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Just beautiful photos!

  2. Elephant's Child February 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    They are such *improbable* looking birds. And so beautiful. So very, very beautiful.

  3. Jane Chesebrough February 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Lovely portraits, they are so graceful in flight.

  4. Patty Chadwick February 8, 2015 at 8:39 am

    These big bitds are so majestic and noble looking….beautiful contrast, beautiful images….

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