Friday, September 24, 2010

Grace and Elegance on a Grand Scale

During their spring and fall migrations we are quite used to seeing large numbers of the American White Pelican at the lake west of town. But it is highly unusual to find a lone bird visiting town.

This morning Hubby was uptown and spotted this fellow on the awning of one of the businesses. He was busy cleaning his feathers and seemed quite nonplussed about being on his own. (photo credits go to Hubby)

I'm guessing his cohorts are settled in safely at the lake. They'll spend a week or three before continuing on their journey south. And while they are here, locals will enjoy driving by the lake to view these huge but elegant birds.
We once lived on the lake and each spring and fall enjoyed watching the huge numbers of American White Pelican in the spring and fall.

This is a bird which easily lives up to its name as one of the largest in North America. Its wing spread can easily reach 8 or 9 feet, making this bird impressively larger than the Canadian goose.

The birds are simply gorgeous and it is a wonderful thing to watch them in flight or as they fish the lake. When the flock comes in for a landing they spiral in a slow float until they reach the surface of the water. And when they fish, they fish together in sync, "herding" the fish before them.

They are a most graceful bird. And a beautiful example of God's glorious creation.


Debby said...

I have learned something new! Who would have thought? Pelicans in Iowa. That is fascinating. Where do they come from? Surely they don't fly north for the winters?

Karen said...

Cute picture! I wonder what he was thinking, perched on that awning and watching us humans, just going about our mundane tasks?!?

Thanks for sharing this!

Persis said...

Thanks for the birding lesson. We have brown pelicans near the Chesapeake Bay, but I've never seen a white one before. Beautiful bird!

Linda said...

Thank you for the picture. There are so many people that would drive right by and not give a thought to the grace and elegance of God's creation. I am thankful each day for the nature and beauty He has provided.

melissa said...

That's amazing. :) The only interesting thing we have that migrates through here is hummingbirds, and we've had a jolly time watching them on our feeder.

But a pelican? Your husband's photos are great!

Kelly said...

Wow! That's a big bird!!!

We have brown pelicans around here and they are a nuisance bird. We farmed catfish for awhile and they could wipe out a pond in no time!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic shot your hubby captured! The Pelicans also have a migratory path here in Northern Nevada too. They are amazing birds.
God bless you today!