pelican close-up @ fota
it was a little freaky getting this shot as this is a very big bird and I did not want to annoy him!
oh and best viewed Large On Black
taken on a visit last week with the children (easter school holidays) to fota wildlife park in cork. Fota is a great day out as its is not like an ordinary zoo. Wherever possible they have chosen animals that thrive in a free-range environment, which allows them to roam free, while mixed with other species and with the human visitors.
the bird is about 4 feet tall and is a beautiful great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) found in the Wetlands of Africa and Eurasia.
quite liking the Bokeh here too :-)
more on Pelicans from the wikipedia:
Among the largest of flying birds: up to 10kg in weight and with a 3m wingspan. Each eats 1kg of fish a day which it catches in its pouched beak. Pelicans have two primary ways of feeding: 1) Group fishing: used by white pelicans all over the world. They will form a line to chase schools of small fish into shallow water, and then simply scoop them up. Large fish are caught with the bill-tip, then tossed up in the air to be caught and slid into the gullet head first. and 2) Plunge-diving: used almost exclusively by the American Brown Pelican, and rarely by white pelicans like the Peruvian Pelican or the Australian Pelican.
Occasionally, pelicans will consume animals other than fish. In one documented case, a pelican swallowed a live pigeon, and reports of similar incidents have surfaced. In fact, Pelicans are fairly opportunistic predators, and while fish forms the bulk of their diet due to being the most common food source where Pelicans nest, they will quite readily eat any other food that is available to them.
Pelicans are gregarious and nest colonially, the male bringing the material, the female heaping it up to form a simple structure. Pairs are monogamous for a single season but the pair bond extends only to the nesting area; mates are independent away from the nest.
Threats to survival include persecution by fishermen, loss of habitat and pesticide pollution.
sorry to all - been awol parenting during the easter school holidays.. :-)