Pelicans in La Jolla

I went down to La Jolla this morning to see how many brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) are there. (The California race of brown pelicans has been experiencing a mysterious malady this year, with many pelicans being found weak and disoriented far away from their usual habitat.) I had not been down there since December. The plumage colors on the birds were much more vivid than I saw on my last visit in December, but there were very few pelicans flying about. Given that flight photo opportunities were hard to come by, I concentrated on portraits.

Brown pelican preening, cleaning its feathers after foraging on the ocean, with distinctive winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican preening, cleaning its feathers after foraging on the ocean, with distinctive winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 22527
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 22529
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 22532
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Western gull portrait, Larus occidentalis, La Jolla, California

Western gull portrait.
Image ID: 22542
Species: Western gull, Larus occidentalis
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

See our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

See more brown pelican photos.