Pelicans Fishing

Our first walk of the day was at Oceanfront Park. Before walking, though, we watched the pelicans fishing.  Today I took more pictures.

When we first walked to the waterfront, we thought this kayaker had caught a big fish.  It turned out that his line was snagged.  Eventually, the line broke.

Kayaker Fishing

The pelicans were having better luck. They fly over the water looking for fish and, when they spot one, they dive straight down.

Pelican Splash

You can tell when they catch one.  They pause with their beak/bill still in the water.  This must have been a big fish; they don’t usually have it in this far.

Pelican Caught Fish

This is more like it.  It must be a really big fish.  Pelican is tipping over.

Pelican Holding Fish Underwater

After holding the fish underwater for a moment, they throw their heads back and swallow.  This one was a little tougher to swallow than most.  It sure looks awkward. It does remind me of Ogden Nash, though.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week

Pelican with Fish in Pouch

I’m not sure why the wings are partially up.  I usually take that as a sign that the pelican is about to take off.

That was a big bite of fish.  You can see it is still in the pouch.

Fish Had Not Gone Down Yet

I’ve never seen one with its head so far underwater while holding a fish.

Headless Pelican

This is how they normally look when they pause before the swallow.

I lost count of how many they caught.  I don’t know how they could fly with all that fish in their bellies.

Pelican with Pouch Full of Fish

I seldom get a good picture of pelicans flying. This one isn’t going to win any photography awards but, it is the finest in my Bird Butt Collection.

North End of a South Bound Pelican


8 thoughts on “Pelicans Fishing

  1. M. L. Kappa March 11, 2017 / 12:57 am

    Lovely post, Dinata, limerick and all! I love pelicans 🌺


  2. Sharon Starling March 11, 2017 / 7:14 am

    Great pictures.


    • Dinata Misovec March 11, 2017 / 11:13 pm

      Thanks. Pelicans look slow until I try to look at them through the camera.


  3. Cas Olverson March 15, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    great sequence. their feathers are so beautiful.


  4. Kyle April 29, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    Great captures and blog here! I initially noticed your “pelican and big fish” shots. That looks like a pretty large fish (can you see it thrashing about inside?) caught!

    So can the bird really manage to win the struggle and gulp down that entire thing okay? Does the fish put up a good fight, if eaten, does the unlucky prey get swallowed wriggling the whole way down as well?!


    • Dinata Misovec May 4, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Thanks for the compliments.

      I don’t think I ever saw a fish thrashing about inside the pelican’s pouch. I guess they subdue it somehow while they are holding it underwater. They hold it for a good while before swallowing. (Can you drown a fish!?!?!?) Maybe they squeeze it to death. I have seen a few pelicans with tears in the pouch at the bird hospital in town and have wondered if fish did it. That could also be from fish hooks as pelicans sometimes try to steal fish from anglers.


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