John Dean
1 min readFeb 13, 2021

The Pelican patiently watched me approach in my kayak, but it did not take flight. Had he concluded I was harmless? Or did the Pelican want to be photographed?

Pelican at Estero Bay, Florida. Photo by J. Dean

The Pelican posed for more than thirty pictures but never budged from its perch in a tree on a tiny uninhabited island. I had hoped he would take flight. I wanted a show, but I didn’t get one. The reward for my effort would be not only my photo but the opportunity to spend ten minutes observing this magnificent bird.

There could have been more. The National Audubon Society says:

An unmistakable bird of coastal waters. Groups of Brown Pelicans fly low over the waves in single file, flapping and gliding in unison. Their feeding behavior is spectacular, as they plunge headlong into the water in pursuit of fish.

Populations of Pelicans are increasing. That is great news.

John Dean

Writing on politics, photography, nature, the environment, dogs, and, occasionally, humor. Editor of Dean’s List.