Preening pelican

Eight species of pelicans make up the family Pelecanidae. Two species can be found in the United States, the American white pelican and the Brown pelican, seen here. This pelican was found in San Diego, along a coastal trail. I wonder if people in California view these beautiful birds as no big deal since they are so common, because every time I see one, I am so captivated by them. This pelican was busy preening, or grooming its feathers to keep them in good condition.

Preening pelican in San Diego, California

Elusive hummingbird

It took me quite a few tries to get a picture of this hummingbird. It would show up outside the window, feed on the plant outside the window, and disappear by the time I managed to grab my camera. After lots of near misses, I finally got this photo. I was not an expert on photography by any means so there was certainly some luck that went into this photo. I like how the near wing of the hummingbird is sharp while there is just a little motion blur in the far wing. It’s a good thing I got this photo because my luck in getting photos of hummingbirds since then has been quite bad, it seems like every time I see one, my camera is either not nearby or has the wrong lens on it.

Hummingbird in mid air

Eagles of the Ramparts

This photo was taken in Provins, France, a medieval tourist town outside Paris. Among the attractions is the “Eagles of the Ramparts” show, which showcases the history of falconry in the area. The birds were amazing, the falconers were amazing, and the show was enjoyable even though it is in entirely in French. The composition of this photo was largely luck because there was so much happening during the show and everything happened so quickly, but I like how the bird’s wing disappears out of the corner of the photo and the empty space on the left side in the direction they are moving.

Impressive bird with its falconer during the Eagles of the Ramparts show in Provins, France.

Mexican pelican

Many people think more about beaches than bird-watching when it comes to Mexico but many of the birds that spend the summer in the northern United States spend winters in Mexico, so a winter trip to Mexico can provide a great opportunity to see (and photograph) birds. This pelican was one of dozens hanging out near the port of Chiquilá, from which one can catch the ferry to the beautiful island of Holbox. When not flying around, the pelicans liked to gather in large groups, so trying to get a photo of just a single bird was a bit of a challenge, especially when the time to take photos of these beautiful birds was limited by when our ferry was departing.

Photo of a pelican

Egret at sunrise

This photo was taken during a recent vacation on the island of Holbox, Mexico, which is a couple hour drive and a ferry ride from Cancun. It is a beautiful, relatively undeveloped island with nice beaches, lots of birds, and great sunrises/sunsets. This photo was taken at sunrise from Punta Cocos. Most of my favorite sunrise photos are taken before the sun actually comes up, but as you can see, this photo was taken shortly after the sun appeared. The way that the sun bathed the clouds and water in golden light made for a very warm friendly scene, and this egret was nice enough to land in front of me just in time to get in the photo.

Warm sunrise on the island of Holbox, Mexico with an egret in the water