White Pelicans

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The white pelicans are in full action at Bolsa Chica right now. They are beautiful birds, and make great photographic subjects. They feed a little different than the brown pelicans. Instead of plummeting down from a height, the skim along along just above the water before they grab their fish.

When you first arrive look for them in the distance. They might not stay there long, and will burst away in a group if a school of fish appear for lunch. 

white pelican swimming

Their white feathers make a nice contrast with the blue water. Remember not to over expose the whites (called blowing the highlights). The time to get your exposure correct is now, before the action begins.

Even though they are a large bird they takeoff fast, so be ready for your BIF (Bird in Flight) shot

white pelicans flying in a pair

They might fly in pairs, so you have your chance for a symmetry shot

If you are ready for your BIF shot you might catch one in mid-poop!

white pelican skimming

They often times skim low over the water before jumping into a school of fish

white pelican landing

It’s is fun to photograph them sliding in for a landing

white pelican feeding frenzy

When they find a school of fish they go into a feeding frenzy

white pelicans swimming

After feeding they love to congregate and talk politics

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