Pelican Portraits


I love to see Brown Pelicans!  It’s exciting that they are now starting to colonize and breed on the lower to mid Chesapeake Bay remote islands.  There are so many words to describe them; I chose handsome, beautiful, unique….

Florida surely has their share, lucky them!  Here are two Brown Pelican portraits I took this past January in Florida.


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Brown Pelican (juvenile)


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Brown Pelican (adult, nonbreeding)


52 thoughts on “Pelican Portraits

    • Thank you, Eliza! Brown Pelican breeding occurs as far north as New Jersey’s coastline. Summer sightings of nonbreeders are seen along the coasts up around NY and the New England states, but I never read anything about them breeding that far north. Still awesome to get an opportunity to see them up that way during the summer!

  1. Beautiful captures Donna, it is interesting they have a hook on the end of their bill, and is much larger and more pronounced than on our Aussie version..

    • Thank you, Ellen! There are thousands now on Smith Island in the lower Bay, the colony is being protected by locals as well as the Chesapeake Conservancy. One of these summers I’d love to take the all-day boat tour set up through the Delmarva Birding weekend each year. Last I heard it was $250 a person. 😣

        • There are also private boats (local fisherman) you can hire (if they like you lol), I’ve not priced any of those. We’ve boated around the island in our own boat but never got close in approach to their island or small harbor. There are some well-known wildlife photographers that can do private workshops and tours of Smith Island during different seasons. Usually $$$. The people that live on Smith Island are very private people, protecting their island from much of the outside world’s human destruction. There is a cruise boat from Crisfield that goes to and from the island where you can visit the small town on the island, maybe try the island’s famous Smith Island cake or some crabcakes at a small restaurant/general store. There are one or two B&Bs you can stay at, but they don’t tout tourism for the island. I’ve heard it is awesome place to visit though if you like to step back in time! If you’re interested, Jay Fleming has done a lot of photography on Smith Island.

  2. I just LOVE the pelican perched on the piling! I can’t wait until we get our powerboat launched and I can visit the pelicans on a nearby island in Eastern Bay. Thanks for sharing!

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