Two American White Pelicans and about a dozen Double-crested Cormorants seemed to go along with each other very well below dam #11 in the Mississippi River. Both species fished peacefully side by side, the pelicans using their big bill and the cormorants diving for the fish. There wasn’t any problem until one of the cormorants got a pretty good size fish out of the water.

One of the pelicans was obviously struck by food envy and suddenly attacked the cormorant pretty aggressive. Looking at the image a little closer on my screen at home I realized that the pelican had the poor cormorant in its bill and obviously tried to bite him. I’m very happy to catch this moment. As you can see the cormorant got away with its prey…

All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens, tripod, Induro GHB2 gimbal head, Nikon SB 800 speed light, Better Beamer flash extender

The photos were made on the Wisconsin side of the river, right below the dam between Dubuque, Iowa and the state of Wisconsin. Usually it is not a good place to shoot in this direction during the afternoon hours because the sun is just across the river. We had some heavy overcast and that muted the sunlight quite a bit. To overcome the gray from above and reflected off the water fill flash was used to reveal the colors of the birds.