Side by Side

Two brown pelicans gliding side by side.
Same shot as above with the bottom pelican cropped out.

While 90 percent of my photos of brown pelicans are of a singleton in flight, in truth, they usually have a partner, or are often in a large group. So, I’d like to know about those times when a pelican, alone in flight, is gliding along the coast until it joins other pelicans on an ocean outcrop of rocks. Why was it by itself? My guess: it got distracted by either diving for food, or it was simply enjoying alone time. After observing these birds for over a decade, I believe they love their ability to fly along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world with little fear of other predators. Their safety is at risk, however, when they are first born and subject to attack by land predators, or exposure to pesticides. But I=I worry most about the unseen predator known as “global warming.” As ocean waters heat up, bacteria spread, sickening fish consumed by pelicans that, in turn, are poisoned by what they eat.

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