Juvenile American White Pelican – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I know I just posted a funny white pelican photo recently but I felt like I needed to post two more photos this morning but this time of a juvenile American White Pelican. As much as 20% of the American White Pelican population breed here in northern Utah on Gunnison Island in the Great Salt Lake and the adults feed in the freshwater areas surrounding our hypersaline lake. When the young American White Pelicans are old enough to leave the island they fly to areas like Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to learn how to catch fish on their own before they migrate in the fall.
Yesterday I couldn’t stop myself from photographing this juvenile American White Pelican at Bear River MBR that was close enough to show fine feather details as it swam around close to the auto tour route. I observed it following two adult pelicans around as they searched for food and a few times saw this juvenile appear to catch prey on its own.
Juvenile American White Pelican close up with a horse fly – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The juvenile pelican even came close enough a few times for me to take some close up shots of its head and long bill. I didn’t see the horse fly on the pelican while I photographed it and I almost missed it while I culled the images I had taken yesterday. Do you see it?
It was a nice, peaceful day on the refuge and I felt like I needed it.
Life is good.
PS, there is no public access to Gunnison Island State Wildlife Management Area, access to the island is restricted to prevent disturbance of the nesting birds.