Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis

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California brown pelican in flight, soaring over the ocean with its huge wings outstretched.  The wingspan of the brown pelican can be over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  Adult winter non-breeding plumage showing brown hindneck and red gular throat pouch. La Jolla, USA, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, natural history stock photograph, photo id 20077
During winter months California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) adopt striking plumage. The gular pouch (throat) of adults transitions from olive green to bright red. Breeding adults are characterized primarily by a dark brown hindneck, and may also show a yellow patch at the base of the foreneck. Nonbreeding adults retain the white hindneck but, since they also may display a red gular pouch, they are sometimes mistaken for breeders. Head coloration in adults can be white, yellow or a mix of the two, and becomes speckled during molt or chick-feeding.

California brown pelican in flight, soaring over the ocean with its huge wings outstretched. The wingspan of the brown pelican can be over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status. Adult winter non-breeding plumage showing brown hindneck and red gular throat pouch. La Jolla, USA

Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 20077
Format: Digital 3:2
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Copyright ©Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.
This professional quality stock photo can be licensed in high resolution form by contacting the photographer: Phillip Colla, photos@oceanlight.com, (760) 707-7153, more info and photographer bio.