Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Looking a lot like he is holding down the piling. this fellow was keeping the fort on his own personal perch. Pelicans are a frequent sight now, but not so much in 1976 when we came home to Alabama. At that time, DDT was a pesticide that was in wide use in the agricultural industry. Runoff watershed that we are a lot of the water brought high amounts of pesticide with it. It entered the food chain and consequently, the Pelicans were affected. The poison caused them to have shells so thin when they laid their eggs, that they could not even sit on their nests without breaking them. As a result, the population of Brown Pelicans was nearly killed off. Fortunately, the environmentalists were able to prove the problem was the pesticide and it was removed from the market.
When we came home from the Air Force in 1976 Brown Pelicans were not a common sight. Now, we get the opportunity on a daily basis to see these birds in action. Weeks Bay is the best spot to see them diving for fish in the evenings, looking a lot like an arrow shot from a bow in their frantic rush to the sea. They have a special closure in their throats that prevents the rush of water from drowning them as they hit the water at terrific speeds. They almost immediately pop back up, swallowing their catch and floating on the surface. Sometimes you can find them drying themselves out by holding their wings a lot like an Ahingha (gotta check the spelling on this one!) They hold their wings out looking like they are going to take off, but they are just drying their wings so they can get to the next dive and fresh fish meal.
Pier Pressure 5 x 7 Acrylic on canvas