Dive! Dive! Dive!

My latest self-imposed bird-in-flight photo challenge is to get these exact same shots, but sharp.

Detailed. In nice light . . .

Pelican hovering in mid-air, landing gear dangling.

Checking right . . .

Pelican hovering in mid-air, landing gear dangling.

All clear to the left . . .

Pelican flipping into diving mode.


Appropriately enough, a friend recently sent me this statement, attributed to Winston Churchill: likely falsely, lamentably, but apropos for this post nonetheless.

Success consists of going from failure to failure
without loss of enthusiasm.
Origin unknown



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10 Responses to Dive! Dive! Dive!

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    The dive of a pelican is one of the joys of the tropics, to me. All you need now is a picture of the splash in a tangle of feathers, wings, beak, and feet — which somehow, seconds later, sorts itself out into a pelican again.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – I do have a (distant) pelican splash – nothing much visible except a wing sticking up. I’ll add it to my wishlist! How they hit so hard and don’t break their necks or incur concussions is an interesting question.

  2. Yet, a great sequence, Isabel. And a wonderful description of the landing, Jim.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – And if I’d been close enough to get it sharp, I might have been too far away to keep up with the moving bird, so it’s good for me to appreciate what I did get!

  3. Marilyn Smith says:

    These are such striking photographs! They made me think of Japanese ink paintings. And that bird! Such purpose! Such precision!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Marilyn – Such craziness . . . Apparently his white cousin (found across our own Prairies, for example) feeds by dipping down and slurping-up food. Much more sensible!

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    Love the perfect action shots!

  5. Alison says:

    I was interested to hear about the differences in eating habits. I’ve learned a lot about pelicans thanks to you! And I’m hoping the knowledge will come in handy sometime?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – Of curse, you might want to check with an actual, you know, expert, but that’s what I think I read. And yes, I’m sure it will come in handy. Exactly how, I’m not quite as sure.

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