life, nature

Pink Pelicans

Sometimes pink pelicans wade silently on the surface of the lake in my neighborhood.

Okay, so they’re not pink, they’re white. But, the reflection of the sun on the water causes the very unique pelicans to appear pink. They’re feathers are kept a pristine ivory color.

white pelicans (800x353) wm

lone pelican wmThere really are pink birds that make their homes on our man-made lake. Until I moved to Florida, I thought the only pink fowl were flamingos. Wrong. The lovely spoonbills are a vibrant rosy color. I could only find one for the photo below.

rose spoon wmCan you see him pretty in pink with a rosy stripe?

Why in the world does the below photo look like melting clumps of snow in dead trees? In Florida?

egrets1 wm

Ahh, it’s a flock of white egrets making their beds at dusk (below).

zglgvxsCan you find the indigo-colored birds if you click to make larger?

Where I grew up in the Midwest, I don’t remember seeing a variety of birds. The best I can remember are robins, crows, doves and a rare visit from a cardinal. Which means, I know very little about birds. Could you tell me what kind the next one is (below) that is drying off? Is it a type of crane?

drying off wmIt’s neck takes on the shape of a snake.

Anyone know what kind those two birds are floating in the water? They may look too faraway to see them, but they are not ducks.

I suppose if I had a birdhouse when I lived up north, I probably would’ve seen more species. Here in Florida, these guys (below) end up in the yard even without a birdhouse.

wnvv5fqEgrets like our neighborhood.

It’s ironic how observing an animal which takes flight can be so grounding. Their colors, their bedtime habits in swamp trees, their songs, have a way of pulling me into the moment and reminding me of who I really am.

egrets2 wmGoodnight

goodnight sunset wm

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54 thoughts on “Pink Pelicans”

  1. This blog–both the pictures and words–reminds me of why I like Florida so much. LOVE the wide variety of birds! You really brought back some memories of good times at the Bird Sanctuary at Fort Myers Beach. Your observation about how taking flight can be so grounding is really wonderful. A paradox in this world…

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    1. I do find it a paradox, how something that takes flight can be so grounding, but only when I pay attention. And, when I do so, it reminds me of the stillness within. Good to ‘see’ you, Kathy.

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    1. Hi Andrea. The first time I saw all those birds bunched up in the trees, it was awesome. I was also surprised they slept on what appeared to be brittle branches. Even a few pelicans were in the mix. Thanks for checking it out.

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    1. Thanks, Lorna. I wondered if anyone else would think they looked like snow. I know I did, because the trees are even dead like winter up north. It was cool to see them at dusk.

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  2. Lori,
    I love the photos. The egrets in the trees are kind of unsettling. I don’t know why. Perhaps because there are so many of them. We lived in Florida, up near Jacksonville, and that is one of the things I really liked about the area, was all the bird life. I remember I was late dropping off the kids at school one day because of the traffic jam caused by a duck and her babies slowly and very circuitously crossing the street.
    P.S. I do not miss the alligators though.

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    1. Hi there Sparkyplants. Maybe the large number of egrets is unsettling because it’s like the movie The Birds. Heh. They all gather there at dusk and sleep on flimsy twigs on those trees. I don’t know how they stay up. Yes, the variety of birds here is really something to behold. There isn’t a lot I like about Florida, but that’s one of them, along with January, February and March. Hope you’re in a place that you like now. Thank you for coming over and checking out my blog. I tried yours but had no access.

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      1. Lori, actually I think they remind me of those dolls in the trees on Isla del las Munecas in Mexico. Yes, we are in a place that I love now. That’s concerning about the no access, try SD Gates at WordPress. I love your blog. Have a good day.

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        1. Thanks for the nice comment. I tried SD Gates and it took me to a blank site that said the name Steven Gates and nothing else. Hmm. The link to sparkyplants says it’s a private blog.

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    1. My husband passed by those egrets every day on the way home from work. On a weekend at dusk, we went over there to photograph them. It’s just about a 1/2 mile away. The variety of birds here really is amazing to me. Thanks for checking them out, Terri.

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  3. Florida has amazing birds. 🙂 Your mysteries have already been identified, but keep an eye out for a bird that looks similar to the cormorant. The anhinga has a long straight bill, a longer tail, and when it dries its wings, you’ll seen whitish streaking down the back. It’s also called the snake bird, and when you see it swimming, only the head and a bit of the head is above water. They’re almost dinosaur-looking birds at times.

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    1. I looked up the anhinga, and it looks just like a cormorant. Both have black bodies and snake-like heads. I have seen birds swimming with just a snake-like head sticking out of the water and have wondered what they were. Thanks for your input, JM. It’s been great conversation.

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  4. You had me at “pink” and “pelicans”. As a little kid I was mesmermised by Disney’s pink flamingoes* in the TV show’s intro, and I love pelicans. But all birds, both the G.O. and I can lose hours watching them while we’re out and about, or in our own backyard. Even our Sydney balcony has a few bird neighbours! I think it’s wonderful the world over how many wild birds and animals manage to coexist with us in our urban environments, and if we take the opportunity, as you have done, to appreciate them, they can add a lot of entertainment, peace or interest to our human lives.
    *As an adult I went to Disneyland, California but no pink flamingoes. I went to San Diego Zoo to see the were pink flamingoes, and they look a lot prettier than they smell… wheeew!
    Excellent photos 🙂

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    1. There is a whole flock of Pink Flamingos at Busch Gardens right near where I live. I was shocked to see those other pink birds at our man-made lake and had to look them up. I knew they couldn’t be flamingos. What a surprise that there is another pink bird called a rosette spoonbill. So glad you were able to see those flamingos in person. If you ever do again, you’ll know to hold your breath. 😉 Thanks for checking out my bird photos, EllaDee.

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    1. Hi Margarita. I know. I though that very thing when we drove by them in the trees. They look like snow. It’s the closest I’ll get to snow around here. 😉 Thanks for checking them out.

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    1. Hi Joy. I couldn’t get over how the egrets slept on those flimsy tree limbs. Thanks for checking them out and for sharing about the herons near you.

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    1. Thank you, Anneli. This was a post I mentioned to you that I had drafted a year ago. I finally got around to honing it and posting. 😛 Those egrets in the trees look like snow from a distance, and they are majestic at dusk on those skinny little limbs where they perch. Since you live by the water and see so many different types of birds, I was hoping you could tell me what those black ones were.

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      1. Oooh! You’re really putting me on the spot now! But in the picture with the black bird drying its wings, the two to the right of it are coots (clowns of the marsh – they swim along doing chicken-like motions with their neck, and making a pip-pip sound), and the big bird itself, I believe, is a cormorant. I can’t see the bill clearly enough, but I’m pretty sure it’s a cormorant, judging by the crook in its neck and the way it is drying its wings (something cormorants like to do).

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        1. Cool. You’re absolutely right. I looked up cormorant and that’s the one. I had no idea about coots. I see those all the time. I’m so excited to learn more about them. There is such a variety here.

          Guess what? Just the other day I was sitting by the window writing, when a hawk landed in my yard! It was a beautiful reddish-brown. I’ve seen them around the lake before, but never in my yard. I’d never expect to see a hawk where I grew up, but my dad sees them at his vacation home in Wisconsin.

          Thank you so much for coming back and giving me that information. This is great to know.

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            1. I got a picture of the hawk when it perched onto the wood fence, but it was through the window and screen so it didn’t come out too clear. I never used to pay attention to birds, but one day they started making themselves known to me. Now I find them fascinating, too.

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    1. Hi Carrie. I never used to notice birds either, until a few years ago when I was grieving a loss. For some reason, I suddenly heard them singing all the time. It reminds me of the “stop and smell the roses” cliche. Instead, I needed to stop and listen to the birds sing. Now, I marvel at them. Somehow, their songs and their flight ground me these days. Guess I needed it. Thanks for checking out the photos.

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  5. We have several water birds that visit the lake behind our house, Lori. I’ve never seen any like the black ones in your photo. They look like some type of geese or crane.
    I love watching the birds that come to our feeders and water, especially the chicadees and titmice. No flamingos in our area, but they are very cool.

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    1. I’ve never seen a flamingo in our neighborhood. I thought that pink bird was a flamingo, but I researched it and found it’s called a roseate spoonbill. They’re really a majestic color, and it’s cool when a bunch of them flock together in a vibrant group. Glad you enjoy the birds that come to your feeder. I’d love to do that too, but we have way too many cats in the neighborhood from that guy I wrote about with the “cat house.” I’d be afraid they’d come over and attack them. Thanks for sharing about the birds by you, Jill.

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  6. In Oklahoma we get crows (of course, who doesn’t? lol), these small black birds that fly around in flocks of thousands (seriously, when they are all today chirping in trees they can be heard for miles because there are so many of them), road runners (yep, beep beep), and wild turkeys (and the males are mean, they will run at cars all puffed up like they are going to attack. lol). I wish we got water birds, but we don’t have water, so… Great pictures!! 🙂

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    1. Road runners? Really? Ha, pretty cool. I was shocked, when right before I posted this, a hawk landed in my yard. I’ve seem them around the lakes shown in the pictures, but never in my yard. I got a picture of him through my sliding glass doors and screen, so it’s not good enough to post. Thanks for sharing about the wild birds in your neighborhood, Angela.

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