Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On the order of pelicaniformes

Mom and I specifically went to Monterey to see the hatchling cormorants. I didn't realize we'd see hundreds of Brown Pelicans with them. Last time I was there I might have seen just a couple of pelicans. And now I discover they are in the same order. I guess that makes sense since they have similar long necks, are great fishers, and are awkward on land.

I also had never thought of pelicans as good looking birds, but the ones in Monterey sure were. These particular pelicans are Pelecanus occidentalis. Check them out :)
pelicans 15
pelicans 03
pelicans 10
pelicans 08
Graceful in flight too :)
pelicans 05
pelicans 06

And Brandt's Cormorants too... they are in the same order of pelicaniformes, but different family, the Phalacrocoracidae with their scientific name being Phalacrocorax penicillatus. (i wonder why penicillatus?)
Back in May they were nesting... Last week they had all hatched with some more ready for their first swim than others.
cormorant 35
The ones above look like they are quite a ways off from flying & swimming.
The ones below look closer, but obviously still quite dependent on mama and papa.
cormorant 30
I question the wisdom of these parents... but I don't think they lost any. It looks like they have two of them and taking a gander at the rest of the colony that seemed to be a normal number.
cormorant 34
This stud-muffin looks like it's getting ready to go out on his own.
cormorant 23
But on second glance, he's still at that awkward age.
cormorant 25
He's still pretty fuzzy rather than sleek like the adults.
cormorant 42


Lynne said...

Those are terrific pictures Red! Do the cormorants really have blue eyes? So cool. I especially like the picure of the loaf-shaped pelican resting on the rock.

Red said...

They really do... i'm pretty sure it wasn't the lighting and I didn't touch up the photo other than minimal cropping and putting on the copyright.

In this picture during breeding season it's not as noticeable because the base of the bill is so brilliant.
Cornell's All About Birds has an awesome picture of the eyes!

Mary C said...

Well, you sure are getting scientific with all those proper names, LOL. I'm glad I'm leaving it up to you to give all these birds their scientific names. Seriously, Heidi, umm Red, great post.

Red said...

LOL! Well, I'm trying to up my education rating on this blog. I did a little test and it seemed that I was jr. high level. That seemed so sad so I figure if I toss in a few latin words it'll raise my score! ha ha!

Leedra said...

Absolutely wonderful photos. I was just introduced to Cormorants in April at the Florida Birding FotoFest, but I have enjoyed the Pelicans as long as I can remember. You have great photos of both.

I now see that I was not even looking at your whole blog. I had come thru a link from MaryC and it was for that one post. I opened your blog and went to get ready for work while it loaded all these great photos. Thanks, I will be back.

Red said...

Hi Leedra! Thank you so much - that's a real compliment coming from you. :)

I really didn't know much about Pelicans until recently and only heard about Cormorants about a year ago.

Darla said...

The photos are GREAT!

Leedra said...

Came back again at these Pelicans. Love them. Have added your blog to my blog list. Thank you for your compliment here.


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