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Travel Home :: 2000 :: Best-Of Photography ::

In my daily walks through Playa Balandra, I quickly became friends with the local 100+ pelicans that stayed in the area. It was quite amazing to see a large flock of these beautiful, large birds swarm over you as you stand in 3-4 feet of water. 

In Flight
Pelican Diving

The pelican's primary method for getting fish would be to drop from the sky from 30-50 feet in a massive nosedive. The constant, ever-present sound of a pelican splashing became integral to the place. In fact, the few times when all of the pelicans would take a break seemed so unnaturally silent. 

The pelicans fished individually and in groups. Minutes after sunset, every pelican in sight would form a massive line of diving and feeding. In this coordinated chaos, a front line of pelicans would dive for fish. This would push the fish that survived in front of them. Then, the next wave of pelicans (having hastily swallowed their previous catches whole) would take to the air and advance the line. By walking out into the water, you could in essence find yourself caught in one of these group attacks.  

Left Off
Walking Amidst the Pelicans

The pelicans pretty much ignored my presence. Occasionally they would low sweep just a few feet above me, or dive bomb - to my startled surprise - just a few feet away. It was most amazing. 

(c) Geoffrey Peters,, 2002. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
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