Juvenile American White Pelican at Bear River MBR

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Juvenile American White PelicanJuvenile 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 flyJuvenile 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.

Mia

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.

4 Comments

  1. April Olson August 28, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Beautiful. The survival rate of these wonderful babies is low, it is always good to see one fly off Gunnison island and catching fish at the refuge.

  2. Elephants Child August 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I adore pelicans, and am missing ours. As the weather warms I hope to see them again – which is a plus for a season I really don’t like.

  3. Pepe Forte August 28, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Wonderful portrait of one of natures wonderful birds. Such good stuff. Thx Mia.

  4. Liz Cormack August 28, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Beautiful creature. Beautiful photos.

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