Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, #20146

Brown pelicans sparring with beaks, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults. La Jolla, California, USA, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, natural history stock photograph, photo id 20146
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.

Brown pelicans sparring with beaks, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults. La Jolla, California, USA

Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California
Image ID: 20146
Format: Digital 3:2
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