Pelicans and Cormorants, Gilbert AZ

American pelicans: I’ve seen them many times at Lockport Dam.  I’ve even featured them in a video.

But I had never seen them at the Gilbert Water Ranch.  So although I have lots of photos of big white birds standing around and checking the undercarriage, I took a few more.  

3-photo collage of American pelicans standing and preeningHowever, I prefer bird-in-motion shots when I can get ’em.  It was a beautiful morning, the pelicans were flouncing about a bit, so I got some of those photos too.

6-photo collage of American pelicans in motion in the waterAlthough I appreciated the flurry of activity, after a while I did begin to wonder what it was all about.  My binoculars were at home, so I used my camera for distance viewing.

American pelican landing on a cormorantInteresting.  The pelicans seemed to be trailing around after the cormorants.  As I watched more closely, I could see that when a cormorant dove, some nearby pelicans would rush over in a great flutter.

3-photo collage of American pelicans lifting off a pond

3-photo collage of American pelicans, in flightWere the big white birds using the small black birds to identify the good fishing spots?

Umm, not exactly . . .

American pelican attacking cormorant for its catch

2-photo collage of American pelicans attacking cormorants for their catch2-photo collage of American pelican attacking cormorant for its catch So, what kind of day was it at the Gilbert Water Ranch?  That depends on your point of view.  For the fish?  Unambiguously bad.  For the pelicans and the cormorants?  Business as usual, I think.  For me?  One of my best days.



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