Posted by: atowhee | February 23, 2010

Big Boats in the Harbor

Two fine photos of cruisng Brown Pelican adult in Oakland Estuary.  Credit to photog Jerry Clifton:

Because of El Nino, Brown Pelicans on the Pacific Coast have had a hard winter. Many starving and a lower survival and birth rate for young.  Less oceanic up-welling means a smaller fish supply.  I recently saw some Brown Pelicans along the northern Oregon Coast, long after they should have headed south for breeding season.  Seeing first year Brown Pelicans is not so easy right now.  They are all dark on the top but have light colored bellies.  This bird is clearly of breeding age, more than three years old.

These birds often live more than twenty years, breeding annually so one lost breeding season is not a disaster but they are susceptible to many of the changes that could be wrought by continuing climate change.

Pics taken from his sailboat, of birds and more.  You can find his kickass birding albums here.

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