Bath time

Naturally, there is reason behind the madness. A bird can only survive in the wild if its able to fly. Feathers need to be kept clean and light. And pelicans can carry fleas and other parasites, but a vigorous banging of the wings on the water gets rid of most of them. While grown pelicans have no natural enemies, instinct prevails. Bathes are taken during day when the sun is out to quickly dry the feathers.

By Irene Amiet

A pelican taking a bath is a noisy affair. Pier 19 in Galveston is a good place to watch the splashing spectacle of the brown pelicans cleaning their feathers.

For a clear shot, I try to keep the focus on the bird's eye with a medium aperture of f/10 to f/13, and a short exposure of about 1/800 in order to freeze the action.

(5) comments

U W

Where is the clear shot you speak of?

Irene Amiet

I, as most wildlife photographers, define a "clear shot" by the clarity of an animal's eye. The blurring of wings is a way to show motion. Depending on the aperture setting this can be more or less, depending on your artistic vision.

U W

Haha I think you are using "wildlife photographer" a little loosely in describing yourself! I would be embarrassed if I posted something like this! The light is horrible and the only thing clear is the eye! Lol

U W

Just looked at it again... The picture is overexposed as well and the eyes aren't clear either.

Irene Amiet

Thank you for sharing your opinion

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