2008 February, Natural History Photography Blog

Photo of a Brown Pelican Preening

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.75" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 13.01" W, Coord: 32.850211°, -117.27028°
Filed under: California, La Jolla, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife on 2/8/2008

Here is a California brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) preening. Using it’s long bill, the pelican spreads preen oil from its uropygial gland (near its tail) and spreads it over its wings and head. The preen oil helps to keep the feathers clean and dry. Check out the bird’s coloration, it is at the height of it’s breeding plumage with a bright red throat and chestnut brown hind neck.

See our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail.  Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry.  Note adult winter breeding plumage in display, with brown neck, red gular throat pouch and yellow and white head., Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20295, all rights reserved worldwide.
A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican’s beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry. Note adult winter breeding plumage in display, with brown neck, red gular throat pouch and yellow and white head. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20295  
Species: Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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Photo of a Pelican in Flight

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.75" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 13.01" W, Coord: 32.850211°, -117.27028°
Filed under: California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife on 2/7/2008

Yet another photo of a pelican in flight. This California brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is seen soaring over the cliffs looking for a place to land and preen in the warm sun.

See our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican in flight.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage., Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20294, all rights reserved worldwide.
Brown pelican in flight. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status. In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20294  
Species: Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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Abstract Water Photo

Filed under: California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, Seascapes on 2/6/2008

This abstract water photograph is a blurred time exposure of the ocean surface in La Jolla.

Abstract colors and water patterns on the ocean surface.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20343, all rights reserved worldwide.
Abstract colors and water patterns on the ocean surface.
Image: 20343  
 
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Pelican Eye

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.75" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 13.01" W, Coord: 32.850211°, -117.27028°
Filed under: California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife on 2/5/2008

This California brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is resting and warming itself in the sun after a morning foraging at sea. Its head is pointed behind itself and nestled between its wings.

See our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican closeup showing characteristic winter mating plumage, including yellow head, dark brown nape of neck and red gular throat pouch., Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20154, all rights reserved worldwide.
Brown pelican closeup showing characteristic winter mating plumage, including yellow head, dark brown nape of neck and red gular throat pouch. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20154  
Species: Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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Photo of La Jolla Cove at Sunrise

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.46" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 12.96" W, Coord: 32.850128°, -117.27027°
Filed under: California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, San Diego, Seascapes on 2/4/2008

Check out the deep pink skies, it was a super sunrise the morning I shot this. Probably due to smog or something. This is famous La Jolla Cove, one of the jewels of San Diego and home to good diving and snorkling, bird and whale watching, and rough-water swimming. It takes a really big swell to get the wave at La Jolla Cove to break, but when it does it is impressive. This day it was super flat. So dreamy.

La Jolla Cove meets the dawn with pink skies and a flat ocean.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20251, all rights reserved worldwide.
La Jolla Cove meets the dawn with pink skies and a flat ocean. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20251  
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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Pelican Bluff at Sunrise

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.46" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 12.96" W, Coord: 32.850128°, -117.27027°
Filed under: California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day on 2/3/2008

This is the bluff on which the bird photographers take their photos of the California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in their breeding plumage. Note the distinct absence of photographers — this is unusual and due to the early hour (well before sunrise). I like to get to the bluff very early and watch the birds arrive. More pelicans and cormorants than are seen in this image will arrive soon, to warm themselves on the rocks when the sun hits, and photographers will likely follow. As I recall, on the morning this was taken I was the only person there for quite a while.

Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Bluff and trees overlooking the ocean near La Jolla Cove, sunrise.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20249, all rights reserved worldwide.
Bluff and trees overlooking the ocean near La Jolla Cove, sunrise. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20249  
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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Photo of La Jolla Cave at Sunrise

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.46" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 12.96" W, Coord: 32.850128°, -117.27027°
Filed under: California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day on 2/2/2008

The biggest of the caves in La Jolla is seen here at sunrise. The other caves are around to the right. Atop this sandstone bluff are found many seabirds, particularly in winter when California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) and cormorants can be seen here in their breeding plumage. Few birds appear in this image since this was taken in the cold hours before sunrise, but when the sun hits the bluff many more birds will arrive to warm themselves and preen throughout the morning.

A large natural sea cave lies below a sandstone bluff in La Jolla at sunrise with a pink sky, Black's Beach in the distant.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20250, all rights reserved worldwide.
A large natural sea cave lies below a sandstone bluff in La Jolla at sunrise with a pink sky, Black’s Beach in the distant. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20250  
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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Photo of the La Jolla Cliffs at Sunrise

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Latitude: 32° 51' 0.46" N, Longitude: 117° 16' 12.96" W, Coord: 32.850128°, -117.27027°
Filed under: California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, San Diego, Seascapes on 2/1/2008

The La Jolla Cliffs early in the morning, under a pink sunrise. Marine Room restaurant is on the far left, and the famous caves are seen at the base of the cliffs. Check out the thousands of cormorants resting on the cliffs. They will eventually fly out to forage on the ocean, returning later in the morning.

La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs.  Sunrise with pink skies.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20254, all rights reserved worldwide.
La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs. Sunrise with pink skies. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20254  
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs.,  Copyright Phillip Colla, image #20256, all rights reserved worldwide.
La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs. La Jolla, California, USA.
Image: 20256  
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
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