Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big Birds

As we sat on the lakeside deck this evening there were a few turkey vultures circling the neighborhood. This certainly can not be a good omen, though there were fewer than than a couple days ago when there were fifty or more, apparently on migration. They are necessary, but nasty creatures, these undertakers.

Later a flight of a few dozen white pelicans drifted over, single file in their slow motion roller coaster. According to the Peterson Guide their wingspan is 8' or 9'. Like the vultures they don't waste a wing beat, plying the updrafts to remain airborne - the most graceful birds in flight I've ever seen. If there is a foreboding to the vultures there is just as much joy watching the pelicans pass over.

5 comments:

Mimbres Man said...

I find myself taking a lot of photos of the brown pelicans here. I really enjoy watching them doing their thing. Very graceful fliers.
Few examples here:
http://mimbresman.blogspot.com/search?q=pelicans&max-results=20
I know there are more pelican pics somewhere on there...

Mimbres Man said...

More...
http://mimbresman.blogspot.com/search?q=pelican

Gunnar Berg said...

It's interesting, the white and brown pelicans seem so similar. but have so different feeding methods. The whites don't bomb dive, they feed in small groups, a line of birds driving the fish into shallows and in unison dip their heads under water to catch them.

Butch said...

Re: The vultures - be careful not to become horizontal on your deck. Based on what I've seen of a horse and several elk, first they go for your eyes and then the privates.

Gunnar Berg said...

Oo, the pug is carrion waiting to happen. He spends a lot of time horizontal on the deck.