American White Pelicans in Flight

Pelican Air Ballet

A fellow photographer spotted the Pelicans at quite a distance when we stopped to view some ducks along Black Point Wildlife Drive. We watched them approach for what seemed like several minutes but probably was only 30 seconds, hoping they would land in the pond in front of us.

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

Instead they treated us to an amazing aerial  ballet, with the birds shifting position in the group, breaking apart and reforming, in an elegant flight display.

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

The American White Pelican is one of North America’s largest birds, with a wingspan from 8-10 feet (2.5-3 meters)!

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

As they glided by I could see that the individual birds adjusted their altitude as well as their flock position and no matter how close they got to each other there was no evidence of an in-flight bump.

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

Photographed at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.

Click photos for larger view.

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