Ponderous Pelican

Ponderous Pelican
yet graceful flyer
powerful stroking flight
alternating short glides
skimming inches
above the water.
Silently you sail
rarely emitting
a low croak
with your head
drawn back to shoulders
no need to soar.

Constant along coasts
you forage shallow waters
of oceans, bays and lagoons.
Nesting in colonies
on small, remote islands
loyally raising your brood.

Roosting in large groups
on preferred sandbars
resting on rocks
buoys and beaches
perching on pillars
posts and piers.

In small flocks
of synchronized sailing
a straight line of aviators
glides low over ocean water
nearly touching it
with wide wingtips.

From the salty air
you dive straight down
plunging bill first
with spectacular twisting
breaking through the surface
filling your pouch with fish.

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Size: 48 – 50 inches (122-127 cm)   Wingspan: 6.5 feet (198 cm)
Photo Location:  La Jolla (La Jolla),  California


4 thoughts on “Ponderous Pelican”

  1. I did force myself to pick a favorite picture this time Richard. I especially love the last picture with the pelican flying just over the water with the blue mountains faintly in the background.



  2. I love the last image. At first, I thought the pelican was resting on the water, but on closer look is actually still airborne. I like it when photographs play tricks on the eyes.

    I don't think I've seen a pelican in flight before. I'm used to only seeing them hang out on posts along piers. I'm glad to see them in action through your photographs and your descriptive poem.


  3. Cynthia:

    Thanks for liking this ponderous Pelican.

    It takes a lot of research and several revisions to get all the information into poetry form and still have it make sense. I hope I've succeeded.



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