Wake Up Call

After breakfast, at low tide and warmed by the sun, these white pelicans decided conditions were perfect for a morning nap. Until one male pelican arrived and cried out to all of them, “Wake Up!”

#whitepelicans, #pelican, #sanibel, #dingdarling, #morningnap, #wakeup, #wakeupcall, #nikon, #tamron, #RRS, #nature, #behavior
From my perspective, this one male pelican seems to say, “Wake up, you guys!” I’m not sure the relaxed birds are convinced, as they only open their eyes.

The J.N. Ding Darling Nature Preserve on Sanibel Island, Florida is a wonderful place to observe the White Pelicans, Great Egrets, Great Blue Heron and Roseate Spoonbills in the winter months.

One Happy Crowd

These White Pelicans can fly and float anywhere they like, but they all seem pretty happy to crowd onto a tiny sandbar, wing to wing with one another. This image shows only a third of the line of white pelicans gathered at J.N. Ding Darling Nature Preserve on a sunny Sunday morning.

#pelican, #whitepelican, #snowbirds, #white, #birds, #blueandwhite, #wildlife, #nature, #photography, #nikon, #tamron
Nature’s Way: Comfort and safety in numbers. A cozy morning on the sandbar in Sanibel Island, Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying in Formation

These two White Pelicans flying low and in unison as they come in for a landing remind me of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performing in a summer air show. As a spectator, I find myself entranced by the tight formation and flying agility.

#pelicans, #dingdarling, #sanibel, #florida, #painting, #photography, #topaz, #nikon, #tamron
The stunning white pelicans found on Sanibel Island in February are skilled unison flyers.

Having captured this moment in a photograph, I realized that the simple yet striking composition and blue/white color combination would translate well into an oil painting. So, I used my digital paint box to create my best rendering. What do you think?

Incoming White Pelican

Snowbirds from the Great Lakes region, these large White Pelicans are fun to watch, especially when they spread their wings to fly, soar over the Gulf and come in for a quiet landing on the sandbar.

It was a balmy morning on Sanibel Island, Florida today in the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Bird lovers cruised slowly in cars and on bikes, and perched themselves along the shoreline with binoculars and cameras. The highlight of the morning was when one of us would say quietly to his neighbor, “Incoming!”

#whitepelican, #flight, #bird, #pelican, #sanibel, #birdwatching, #birdphotography, #nikon, #tamron
Squadron of White Pelicans assemble on the sandbar in J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. February 4, 2018

Pelicans’ secret

Did you ever wonder where the pelicans go at night to sleep? Their favorite spot is an island in the bay, safe from land-based predators like raccoons. In this image, shot in Rookery Bay south of Naples, Florida, you can see a large number of pelicans getting settled for the night at sunset.

#sunset, #pelican, #orangeandblue, #rookerybay, #rookeryisland, #mangrove, #goodnight
One Pelican lands on an outside branch as a dozen of them settle in for the night on an island in Rookery Bay, Southwest Florida.

Our boat cut the engine and floated silently, so we could watch the pelicans and other large wading birds settle in on their rookery island. It was a privilege to watch this natural phenomenon up close.

Good night, Pelican

If this sounds like a good title of a children’s book, you think like I do. I would like to write a sequel to “Goodnight Moon,” and use my photos of pelicans getting ready to say “good night.”

#pelicans, #landing, #rookery, #sunset, #naples, #florida, #birds, #dusk, #nature, #wildlife
Pelicans get comfortable on a rookery island, safe from prey land based prey, as the sun sets.

This close up photograph shows a pelican landing to join many others settling in for the night on a rookery island near Naples, Florida. They can rest and refresh themselves here, safe from raccoons and other land-based prey. This image was taken just minutes before sunset.

Rookery Island

This rookery island is a favorite nighttime resting place for these large birds — the pelicans, ibis, egrets and cormorants. At sunset large flocks swarm in from every direction and birds land on every available branch, squawking at one another to move over and make room. It is a peaceful and unique sight to witness by boat. This location is south of Naples in the Gordon River estuary.

 

#rookeryisland, #rookery, #rookerybay, #birds, #nature, #wildlife, #naples,#sunset,#pelican, #ibis, #egret, #southwestconservancy
Every branch seems to support another large bird, such that the island resembles a fully trimmed Christmas tree.

Incoming !

First there were two American White Pelicans, preening their feathers in the morning sun. Then a large flock of sandpipers swooped in, silently.

#pelican, #whitepelican, #Americanwhitepelican, #sandpiper, #sanibel, #dingdarling, #wildlife, #refuge
Action: Dozens of tiny sandpipers flew in and landed near the White Pelicans.

Then, one by one, more white pelicans landed, so graceful with orange legs and wings outstretched.

#whitepelican, #Americanwhitepelican, #sanibel, #florida, #dingdarling, #wildlife #refuge, #wings
After a flock of sandpipers, three more American White Pelicans fly in to join the first two in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

White Pelicans of Sanibel

I was an early bird this morning, driving an hour from Naples to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to photograph the American White Pelicans. These giant snowbirds only live here in Florida from October to April each year. I enjoyed watching them in the early morning sun. Nearby white ibis, great egrets, anhinga and sandpipers waded and fed in low tide.

#whitepelican, #pelicans, #florida, #wildlife, #snowbird, #morning, #sun, #dingdarling, #wildlife, #refuge, #birds, #florida, #sanibel
Gathering of American White Pelicans on a sandbar on Sanibel Island.

White Pelicans Assemble

Early Sunday morning, they sought light, peace and community. You could call it Bird Church. This flock of unusual white pelicans mingled with the cormorants. All I can say is this: I was grateful to bear witness.

#pelican, #cormorant, #Sanibel, #florida, #birds, #wildlife, #birds, #dingdarling, #preserve
White pelicans and black cormorants mingle in Sunday sun on Sanibel Island, FL