Pas de Deux

By Vladimir Brezina

Performers: Two Brown Pelicans, Pelecanus occidentalis

(It’s nice to think that they were a male and a female. But it’s very hard to tell male and female pelicans apart by external appearance alone.)

Venue: A piling just off John’s Pass Boardwalk, Madeira Beach, Florida (near St. Petersburg, on the Gulf coast)

Date: February 23, 2012, as the sun set…

37 responses to “Pas de Deux

  1. Like a trip back through time, these prehistoric beauties. Looking at these two makes the theory that birds are dinosaurs seem, well, weirdly obvious.

  2. You got some marvelous captures!

  3. That coppery color on one of ‘em is beautiful. Did you name them?

  4. Great photos, Vlad! I saw pelicans in Panama but they were all brown; don’t know that I’ve ever seen them with white feathers.

    • Well, I am not much of a bird expert, but the online sources seem to agree (for once) on this issue. I quote:

      “Adults have silvery grey-brown body plumage, with blackish flight feathers and a yellow and white head with chestnut nape and hind neck. In adult birds the plumage plays a significant role in communication. During the breeding period, prior to nesting, the hind neck becomes vibrant dark reddish brown. In the winter or during the non-breeding period the head and neck are mainly white.

      “Juveniles are generally brown above and white below and it takes them about three years to attain their adult plumage.”

      So this, for example, would seem to show an adult (in non-breeding plumage) and two juveniles:

      And the Pas de Deux itself was performed by two adults, one in non-breeding and the other in breeding plumage. (Still don’t know whether they were males or females, though…)

  5. Wow, these are spectacular, Vlad. Pas de Deux 9 made my heart beat a little faster! And yes, echoing Out Walking the Dog, they really do make the link to dinosaurs awfully credible.

    • Thanks, Ailsa! I really like Pas de Deux 9 too. It was a lucky shot. I didn’t realize the pelicans were in that position until much later when I uploaded the photos onto the computer…

  6. STUNNING! My personal favorite bird, an thanks for taking me back the Gulf where I’ve spent a bit of time.

  7. Oh my goodness…what fabulous photos! They look so sweet together!

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  13. Quite fantastic, really. I also agree about their flight.

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  16. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

  17. What a striking couple they make. Love the series.

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  20. 9 and 10 are incredible. The rest are pretty good too!

    • I showed so many because I wanted to tell a story, show the movement… maybe I should just get a video camera ;-)

      Everybody likes #9—the heart shape of the two heads. I’ve used it so much, so I didn’t want to use it again in the new post

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