Fishing frenzy

Pelicans fishing  

I have withheld these images from your eyes since last Saturday. A business trip didn’t allow me to work on my photos for a couple nights. I went to the lock and dam in Dubuque and found a group of about 30 American White Pelicans just below the dam at the exit of the lock. It is fascinating to watch these large birds fishing in an almost organized manner.

Pelicans fishing 2


The second image shows were the difficulties are with this location. The pelicans feed right at the exit of the lock and disappear quite often behind the concrete wall that forms the side of the lock. I don’t like having this wall in the photo and so the edge of the wall is in many pictures almost identical with the left hand side of the photo. This, unfortunately, limits the room for composition sometimes.

Pelicans fishing 3


However, things develop anyway very fast because the pelicans move constantly around and there were lots of nice gestures of the birds I was able to capture. I shot for about an hour and this was great fun again.  Their bill can hold 3 gallons (~11 liter) of water. After they catch some fish they point the bill downwards, drain the water off, raise the bill and swallow the prey.

Pelicans fishing 4


We just read in the IOWA OUTDOORS magazine that the pelicans have started to built nesting colonies again on some protected Mississippi islands a little further south from here. It says the population is at about 1,500 pelicans now. They were absent since 1909. I like news like this…