Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pelicans!

When people suggest that environmental legislation is unnecessary or stupid, I point to brown pelicans. And American eagles. And alligators.

That is right people, you have the Endangered Species Act to thank for the amazing come-back of all three of those majestic species.

I was born in Florida. Seeing a brown pelican was very rare back in the mid-70s. A few years ago I lived in Tampa for a few months -- it was so beautiful to see all the brown pelicans lined up on the fishing pier.

There are 12 species of pelican.  The brown pelican (my favorite) dive bombs fish to eat.  It is actually a little startling if you are in the water, say kayaking, and one does this a few feet away (close enough that you get splashed).  Their bodies can be 5'8" and their wing span can be as much as 10' long.

When they fly, well, it is like magic, particularly since they can weigh up to 30 lbs.

And now, pelicans, are basically one of my favorite things to photograph.  They are amazing.  

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Thank goodness for the ESA!

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