Today I wanted to take a few minutes to pay homage to the Brown Pelican. Last Winter I was able to photograph the “Big Brown” on many occasions and just as meaningful, I was able to just sit back and watch these birds for hours on end. Here in California the Brown Pelicans had a tough Winter. Some say that it was a combination of cold and excessive rain, others say they were feeding on something toxic. In any case, many took ill and had to be rescued. Now we are seeing images of Brown Pelicans covered in oil on the Gulf Coast. These large creatures are majestic, colorful, and downright friendly to non aggressive onlookers.
It has been a tough year for this bird and I am sure many of us are hoping they do not fall back into the endangered species category. During the ’70’s they were listed when the population dwindled to about 10,000. Last year (2009) they were removed from the list and now number about 650,000.
If you live in an area where the “Big Brown” visits I urge everyone to take some time out and go see them. Be patience and you will get a lot closer than you might think possible.