The Brown Pelican, A bird survivor

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At one time the Brown Pelicans were usually less common north of the Carolinas. Within the last few years it appears the Brown Pelicans are venturing into the Southeast Coast of Virginia.  Today many Brown Pelicans are spotted in and around the estuary of the James River that empties into the Chesapeake Bay.  The primary food source for the Brown Pelicans is Menhaden fish.            

In 2012 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission declared that the Atlantic Menhaden was depleted due to overfishing. The decision was driven by issues with water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and failing efforts to re-introduce predator species, due to lack of Menhaden on which they could feed.

With these site indicators, could this mean the Brown Pelicans have return more abundantly due to improved water quality and the Menhaden are more plentiful?

Photos and article  by Richard Smith

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Pelican and the Blue Heron

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Splash, crash, the Brown Pelican is hit with a surge and a wave.  Each curl pushes her closer to the jagged rocks.  A place for the territorial Great Blue Heron.  A hoarse, guttural squawk of the Blue Heron marks a warning to any intruders.  The Herons’ yellow eye looks at the pelican with anger.  Fearful for her life, the Pelicans’ web feet paddles with all its might, her wings push at the top of the water to help free her from a catastrophe from the rocks or the sword like beak of the Blue Heron.

Heron and the Pelican.jpg

Photo taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm; ISO 200, 320mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

Brown pelican with its young

Bird photography, Birding, Birds, family, Nature, Outdoors, Pelicans

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I captured this picture of the parent and the young in early June 2013 on the lower end of the James River.  I like the diamond uniformity; the parent pelican is at the rear while the juveniles are in the front.  A great day for the pelican family to float down the river.

By R Smith