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PIC OF THE WEEK: 06/30/13 • PREVIOUS WEEKNEXT WEEKALL 2013 PICS

Bird Pic Of The Week

Brown Pelican

(Pelecanus occidentalis)

Where: Newport News, VA • Museum Drive

Notes: I have always admired the fierce determination of many bird species and their unique adaptations to gather food. There are several species of birds that dive from great heights into the water for fish such as Kingfishers, most all of the Tern species, Gannets and other seabirds, Osprey and more. But Brown Pelicans are one of the only species that dives head first into the water from flight and then deploys its large fishing-net like pouch underwater to make a big grab at the fish below. Previously, I had only minimal success at attempting to capture such dynamic behavior. So when a small squadron of these "flying fisherman" gathered near the shore to hunt for the spring run of shad and herring, I became hopeful to finally capture this spirited action. The Pelicans swam back and forth, then suddenly they would break free of the water's surface, fly about only twenty feet, then abruptly turn and dive after the schooling fish. They flew and dove, flew and dove, back and forth in front of me. With a little observation, I noticed a tell-tale sign of when an individual was getting ready to take-off. Plus, they always flew in whatever direction their beak was pointing. So I was able to start with the lens on a bird and then track it with the auto-focus, but I still had to time the shutter's release for the Pelican's sporadic descent. I soon had a few interesting take-off shots, but the plunge was a bit more difficult to synchronize. Persistence finally paid off when this breeding plumage adult turned and dove at just the right angle to my low vantage point position. The mostly overcast conditions provided soft even lighting that produced the smooth blue-gray background colors.
AWARD WINNING PHOTO

Small Bird Photo 1

Small Bird Photo 2

iPhotoBirds Print Brown Pelican (BRPE-H-3321)

Archival quality fine art print, standard size for easy framing, hand signed by the artist, with white matte, backing board and clear protective cover. Image cropping may vary slightly depending on print size.
Print Size: 5" x 7" (with 8" x 10" Matte) . . . $20.00
Print Size: 8" x 10" (with 11" x 14" Matte) . . . $40.00
Print Size: 11" x 14" (with 16" x 20" Matte) . . . $75.00

FREE SHIPPING now through December 20, 2018. Virginia State sales tax applies to in state shipping addresses.

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Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II • Canon 400mm f-5.6 Prime USM L Series Lens • Gitzo 3531LS Tripod • Wimberly Head WH-1010

Exposure: Shutter Speed = 1/1600 second • Aperture = f-5.6 • Exposure Mode = Aperture Priority • Focus Mode: AiServo • Lens (Focal) Length = 400 mm • ISO = 640 • Aprox. Camera Distance = ~35 Feet • Date Shot: 05-05-13

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