Tuesday, March 3, 2009

White Pelicans

Two weeks ago I went up to Cocoa Beach to visit my parents. I grew up on a canal just off the main part of the Banana River. We're fortunate to see porpoises (maybe they're dolphins, but we always called them porpoises), manatees, and lots of birds: pelicans, cormorants, osprey, roseate spoonbills, blue herons, wood storks. In fact, an injured blue heron (it looks as if one leg is broken), comes up onto the patio of my parents' house every day. My dad calls him Harry, and he feeds him a can of sardines every day. Woody the Wood Stork occasionally stops by, and my dad has a little extra for him.

Brown pelicans live year-round in Florida. But each January or February, a huge flock of white pelicans migrates through town. They don't stay long, but occasionally they'll come into the canal in the back yard and fish. They don't dive-bomb like the brown pelicans, but sit at the surface and scoop the fish from there. They travel in big flocks, and the cormorants follow them. I came across them as I was going over the causeway coming back. I raced into the house, got the rest of my family, and we went driving out to where they were. As we arrived, they started to pull away from shore. But this is the photo I got, and you can see just how many there were. The cormorants are the black birds. They dive under the water to get the fish. Click on the photo and you can see it better.

This is just one more of the pleasures of living in Florida.

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