Friend or Foe?

When we first moved to the Pocono Mountains we would see all the deer and get real excited. Aren’t they pretty? Isn’t nature wonderful?
Our real estate agent laughed and told us that within five years we would think of them as pests. He was wrong, It only took three years. We saw the impacts of deer wasting disease and eventually our community had to vote for a deer cull. There was no hunting in our community and the deer population was unhealthy.

For the last three years we have been wintering in Florida and I love to watch birds in flight, especially large birds like pelicans. People who live there hate them, especially fisherman. They steal bait, steal the catch, poop all over their boats and stalk them well out to sea. Here is a small group pestering a fisherman in a bay near Captiva island Florida.

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Friend or Foe

Friend or Foe

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Portrait of a Pelican

If you read my blog you know that one of favorite subjects is the pelican. The Florida Brown Pelican has a wingspan of up to nine feet and weighs 30 pounds. The white pelican is even larger and the second biggest bird in North America after the California Condor. They are actually bigger than the Bald Eagle and much more plentiful. I love these birds because in flight they look a little like Pterodactyls as they glide through the air. This one was actually nice enough to sit for a portrait.

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The Florida Brown Pelican

The Florida Brown Pelican

Birds of a Feather

The Florida Brown Pelican has a wingspan of up to nine feet and weighs 30 pounds. The white pelican is even larger and the second biggest bird in North America after the California Condor. They are actually bigger than the Bald Eagle and much more plentiful. I love these birds because in flight they look a little like Pterodactyls as they glide through the air. This group near John’s Pass in Madeira Beach Florida almost seems like they are flying on a line.

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The Pelican Line

The Pelican Line

Brown Pelicans at Ding Darling

The first time someone ever asked me “have you been to Ding Darling” I thought they were staring to tell me a dirty joke and just said “pardon me?” I later found out they were talking about the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Captiva island in Florida. Turns out it is actually name for a guy called Ding Darling, but that is a whole other story.

It truly is a wonderful spot and even can be appreciated on a gray day like the one we were there. But the rain held off and the birds didn’t really care that is wasn’t sunny. To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Pelicans at Ding Darling

Pelicans at Ding Darling

Fishing Thieves

I hail from the Pennsylvania Mountains home to, among other things, Black Bears. We know we don’t feed the Bears and that includes being careful with your garbage. If they know about your trash or you feed them, you will never get rid of them. They get lazy.

I think the same is true of fishermen in Florida. The Pelicans seem to hang out around boats and fishing piers, stealing the catch whenever they can. I saw fishermen swear at the Pelicans but others were feeding the birds their bait. Talk about mixed messages!

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Fish Thieves

Fish Thieves