Salton Sea – American White Pelicans
The Salton Sea – American White Pelicans
There are a lot of pelicans at the sea; mostly American White Pelicans although the less common, endangered Brown Pelicans can be part of the mix. American White Pelicans rival Trumpeter Swans in the longest birds native to North America race and often it is the pelican taking the trophy by a beak (for Trumpeter Swans see also Swans A Trumpeting). You can tell it is breeding season by the vivid orange beak and iris, and a laterally flattened horn above the bill. Don’t expect much diving activity from these big birds (diving is for the Brown Pelicans); Americans catch their prey while swimming. These “fisherbirds” eat several pounds of fish a day so keeping the Salton Sea fish stocks is necessary for their continued stay at this bird resort. With plumage almost entirely bright white, American White Pelicans offer a particular photography challenge where highly reflective water or bright sky is usually the background (a similar problem finds its way into winter snow photography). Darn that 18% grey-fooled again! The Salton Sea is abundant in opportunities to practice shooting these birds if you want to finesse capturing large, white water birds often within close proximity from the beach, no bird blind required here. From March until well into the fall plan for a scorching beach made up of barnacles instead of sand. Crunch! Ouch! Crunch!
For more on the Salton Sea and American White Pelicans, see also: