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Yours truly

American  White  Pelican

(Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

   Our local Corte Madera lagoon (a small bay off San Francisco Bay)  gets periodic visits from troops of white pelicans and when I noticed that this group had arrived the day after I took possession of my first digital camera, a Canon 10D, I knew this was a perfect test project. My only Canon-mount lens was a 35-80 mm zoom and that showed the entire bird-covered island (about 250 yards away) as a small speck in the distance. A quick call to Anacortes Wild Bird & Telescope got me a T-ring adapter for mounting my Meade ETX-90 telescope as a telephoto on the camera and this is the result. The image was made with the ISO setting at 200 (should have used 400 or even 800) and a shutter speed of 1/1000. The 90 mm aperture of the ETX with its 1250 mm focal length provided a fixed f-stop of 14. This camera is one nice imaging device!

Identification tips for Pelecanus erythrorhynchos:

Length: 50 inches Wingspan: 110 inches.

Sexes similar.

Huge, white bird with black primaries and outer secondaries. Long, orange bill with a pouch. Short orange legs and feet (yes, those feet sure are a give-away!).

Flies with neck tucked.

Does not plunge into water from the air as Brown Pelicans do but feeds while swimming.