The best location on Abaco for watching brown pelicans is Sandy Point, the home of BMMRO (Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation) and of course the legendary Nancy’s, the restaurant at the end of the road. It is a short step to the docks on which the pelicans gather and use as a launch pad for their fishing expeditions.
I photographed this bird at the end of the SP dock, looking rather bedraggled after a dive
Note the significant plumage differences between the male (above) & this female
The brown pelican is (or has become) quite uncommon in the Bahamas. On Abaco it is a permanent resident breeding species. A drop in numbers equals fewer nests, fewer chicks and… fewer numbers. It’s a classic cycle towards serious population decline and all that is implied.
The pelicans above were all photographed on Abaco. Two were not, but are both by exceptional photographers. One, Phil Lanoue, specialises in dramatic sequences, and his work features elsewhere in this blog. The final image was sportingly uploaded by Alan Schmierer from Flickr into the ‘public domain’.
Credits: Tom Sheley (1); Tony Hepburn (2); Keith Salvesen (3, 4, 6); Woody Bracey (5); Phil Lanoue (7); Alan Schmierer (8); Birdorable (cartoon)