Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pelicans



Pelicans seem to be top of the bill. My co-editor at qarrtsiluni put forward an elegant photo of two of them winging their way off across a turquoise ocean to conclude our edition, we thought they reminded us of us ( the edition doesn't conclude for a couple of weeks at least, but we were pondering how to wrap it up). Then straight afterwards a great post about the birds at GrannyJ's, one element of which, however, rather served quell any poetic sentimentality I was feeling about them. Put it this way, if you check GrannyJ's post, don't click on the Youtube link for the 'Pelican eats Pigeon' video unless you have a strong stomach of the David Attenborough kind!

Nevertheless, they are magnificent and astonishing birds, as was forcefully impressed upon me on our visit to Australia a year or two back. Whether dozing placidly near a fish and chip shop, (yes really,)





or seen at eye level at Sydney Zoo,





or soaring majestically overhead.



I'm happy to say we didn't see them eating any pigeons.

12 comments:

Granny J said...

... but these are such beautiful birds, in the fine feathers sense! Our pelicans are fairly drab up close (if you're ever so lucky -- I suppose that fishermen on those trawlers get that close all the time!) BTW, I've put up the warning sign about that uTube item. Thank you for the link.

Zhoen said...

Saw some being fed at a local bird sanctuary, the handler's arm disappeared along with the fish. Astonishing indeed.

rr said...

I love the dramatic eye-liner!

FirstSpawn went to London Zoo recently where he and his class-mates were delighted to witness a lion (I think, or was it a tiger?) catch, kill and eat a pigeon. However cats eating birds is kind of natural whereas a fish-eating bird eating a bird is disturbing.

katydidnot said...

that first photo is wonderful.

HLiza said...

Pelicans! My fav ones in zoos..

SpiralSkies said...

I love the way they look so prehistoric, they're barely real.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely post, they're such stunning birds

Plutarch said...

"What a wonderful bird is the pelican,
Its beak can hold more than its belly can..."

Lucy said...

Cheers all.

GJ, It sometimes seems as though the southern hemisphere versions of so many creatures are just so much larger than life. These were not at all timid, as I say, they hung out around the fish and chip shop! I suppose being fed dead fish all the time they just get a hankering for something a bit livelier...

Z - ouf, not sure I'd want to be that keeper...

rr - also, presumably, the lion made fairly quick work of it... the pelican seemed quite literally to have bitten off rather more than it could chew, and the pigeon wasn't going to go quietly either!

Katy and Hliza, I loved being able to see them swim at eye level at the zoo like that.

Spiral, yes really, and their googly eyes are somthing else too!

CGP - thanks! I took the pics before I had a blog, so it was nice to be able to use some of them.

Plutarch - yes indeed, as the pigeon-eating exploit rather demonstrated...!

herhimnbryn said...

My first sighting up close was here in Australia. I hadn't realised the size of them.
Your images are great. I love the one with the 'eyeliner' too.

Rosie said...

the pigeon put up quite a fight really. I couldnt help wondering whether it drowned or suffocated, was strangled by neck muscles or crushed by gizzard stones...isnt nature wonderful

Kaustubh said...

The photographs are wonderful. I love their beak...