Juvenile Brown Pelican Portrait on the Shore of the Gulf

/, Brown Pelicans, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/Juvenile Brown Pelican Portrait on the Shore of the Gulf

Portrait of a juvenile Brown PelicanJuvenile Brown Pelican Portrait on the Shore of the Gulf – Nikon D200, handheld, f8, 1/750, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, natural light

I had a dream last night about a Brown Pelican juvenile showing up at a local pond and in the dream I kept wondering if the young bird would find its way back to one of the coasts of North America instead of being stuck here alone in a landlocked state like Utah.

Because of the dream I decided to post this photo of a juvenile Brown Pelican taken on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico in December of 2008. The pelican was resting on some rocks near the Gulf Pier at Fort De Soto along with some Snowy Egrets and a few Ruddy Turnstones. The young pelican preened and rested while I photographed it and it didn’t seem to mind the presence of myself or my friend Adrian in the least.

It was wonderful to be close to the juvenile Brown Pelican and to be able to take portraits of it plus I also enjoyed being able to see all the fine details of its plumage, the texture of its bill and look into its dark eyes.

Life is good.



  1. Jane Chesebrough September 24, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I can see every feather! So interesting to see brown ones, other than colours and a sort of crest on the top of the head, they look the same as the White Pelicans. I love how they fly close to the water surface, and in tandem, one of the most graceful flights ever .

  2. Elephant's Child September 24, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Pelicans always brighten my day. Yours are quite different to ours – but very similar too. Much like people of different races.

  3. Utahbooklover September 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I also love Pelicans and the fresh air that blows in from the ocean. Beautiful portrait!

  4. April Olson September 24, 2016 at 11:15 am

    To me pelicans have a soulful look in their eye. You have captured that look. Living in Utah I am very familiar with American White Pelicans but I know very little about Brown Pelicans. I would love to watch them dive at sometime in the future.

  5. Patty Chadwick September 24, 2016 at 9:19 am

    A magnificent portrait of a very stately bird! How great to be able to get that close and get such detail! ( I hope the bird in your dream found its way back to open coastal waters and its own kind)…a “bird out of water” is a sad thing! (Could that bird be you–missing Florida???)….

    • Mia McPherson September 24, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Thanks Patty, I do love pelicans.

      And maybe the pelican is me missing the coast and feeling it deep inside.

      I’ve also spent a great deal of time thinking about the upcoming winter over the past few days as snow started to fall in the high country. Normally that would excite me but I keep thinking about the horrible winter inversions here and how absolutely disgusting the air gets and the poisons we breathe. I want to flee to fresh air in the winter here so damn often.

  6. Bob McPherson September 24, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Thats a definite Wowzer Mia.

    • Mia McPherson September 24, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Thanks so much Bobby.

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