11 photos

The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 42 to 54 inches in length, weighs from 6 to 12 lbs, and has a wingspan from 6 to 8 feet.

This bird is distinguished from the American White Pelican by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface. It eats mainly fish and amphibians as well as crustaceans. Groups of Brown Pelicans often travel in single file, flying low over the water's surface.

The males sport their beautiful red, yellow and green mating colors from about December through February.

They are fun birds to photograph. Their size and awkwardness makes them easier to capture. When they are fishing there is always the challenge to get that quintesential fish-in-the-mouth shot.

These photos were shot at various locations around Southern California.
California Brown PelicanCalifornia Brown Pelican"Oh, those crazy Coots!"California Brown PelicanCalifornia Brown PelicanBrown Pelican Flyover"Oh, those crazy Coots!"