San Diego Wild Animal Park

A selection of images from several shoots at the Park, this page covers a fairly wide
spectrum, with several images of Hornbills, Fish Eagles, Cranes, Storks, Kori Bustard,
Lorikeets, Shoebills, various Ducks, Egrets, Cormorants, Vultures, Secretary Birds, etc.
Some birds are locals that fly in to the Park and end up staying (noted below each image).
In the past I have had a number of requests for use of SDWAP images for school reports,
so I’ve provided information on each of the birds that may help if you’re writing a report.

This page contains over 100 images (1350-1500 pixels for landscape images,
and 1100-1200 pixels for portrait images), along with some special, larger images.
Larger images (and composites) are designated M or LG and sizes are indicated.
These images have been provided in Portfolio sizes (and larger) because I intend
them to be directly printable for people who want to use them for school projects.

These images are not available for commercial uses (Personal Use Only).
They are not watermarked... I’m using the honor system with these images.

You are welcome to print any of the images on this page for personal use
or use in a school project, or use an image in an electronic report (PDF).
Signatures or copyright marks must be maintained, and you should put
an image credit (reference this website) in the bibliography appendix.

click an image to open a larger version
Use your back button to return to this page.


Abyssinian Ground Hornbill 3879

With a fossil record going back to the Miocene 15 million years ago, the Ground Hornbill is the
earliest surviving offshoot from the post-dinosaur ancestor that led to the Hornbill Family, and has
recently been recognized as forming its own family, the Bucorvidae, to separate it from the other
Hornbills (Bucerotidae). Differing from the other Hornbills in that they have an extra neck vertebra,
they do not live in trees, they have no carotid artery (unique among birds), and they do not wall off
the female in a nest cavity, the two Ground Hornbills represent one of the earliest surviving birds.


Abyssinian Ground Hornbill HS1485

The Abyssinian or Northern Ground Hornbill
lives in Northern Africa. They differ from the
Southern Ground Hornbill by the larger casque
on the top of the bill (a structural reinforcement).

They eat fruit, insects, and small animals such
as lizards and tortoises, and some carrion.
They generally form monogamous pairs.


Abyssinian Ground Hornbill HS1538

The blue wattles makes this a female. Males
(top and left) have a blue eye wattle and a red
and blue throat. Hornbills can not swallow food at
the tip of the bill (their tongue is too short), so they
throw and catch it like some Egrets and Herons.


Abyssinian Ground Hornbills HS1515

Two females compete for dominance.


African Fish Eagle HS6463

The African Fish Eagle is a large Sea Eagle, similar to the Madagascar Fish Eagle but with a
white head (rather than the tan head of the Madagascar). The females have a wingspan of over 8 ft.
(males about 6 ft.). They are sub-Saharan and range over much of the African continent. They primarily
hunt near the mouth of rivers or near freshwater lakes and rivers, and eat on a perch unless the fish is
too heavy, in which case they fly to the shore and eat it there. Sometimes they catch a fish that is too
heavy to fly with, and they either drag it across the surface, or if it is too heavy to drag they paddle
to shore using their wings. They also eat waterfowl, small turtles, baby crocodiles, and carrion.


African Fish Eagle HS6455-68 M
(1600 x 1290)

African Fish Eagles mate for life, and build more than one (very large) nest which is reused.


African Fish Eagle HS6374 LG
(1285 x 1927)


African Open-billed Stork X8640

This chocolate brown stork is primarily aquatic and feeds mostly on snails and freshwater mussels.
They extract mussels from the intact shells with the sharp lower bill by slicing off the mussel’s muscle
attachment while the upper bill holds the shell. They often follow hippos (sometimes riding their backs)
while the hippos churn up the mud where the snails and mussels live, exposing the prey for the storks.

Storks are related to Condors and other New World Vultures and share their soaring abilities.


Black Stork HS3231

All black except for the white belly and armpits,
and the red legs, eye ring and bill, the Black Stork
eats fish, amphibians and insects. Solitary and shy
except during the breeding season, they live in
marshy wetlands or near rivers, and breed in
mountain woodlands, nesting high in trees.


Black Stork HS3226

They have a slow, purposeful stride on the ground.


African Crowned Crane X8118

This is the Black Crowned Crane, a close
relative of the Grey Crowned Cranes shown
in the other two images. These two are the only
cranes that can roost in trees due to their long
hind toes allowing them to grasp branches.


African Crowned Crane X1370

The Crowned Cranes eat insects, reptiles
and small mammals on the savanna and nest
in wetter habitats. This one and the next image
show Grey Crowned Cranes. Both types have the
gold crown feathers (differing in plumage color).


African Crowned Crane HS1174 LG
(1525 x 1906)


Anhinga X6102 LG

(1394 x 1743)

Known as the Snakebird, the African Darter is
similar to American and other Anhingas, differing
in appearance by the white neck stripe. Anhingas
are fish eaters, and often swim with only the head
exposed. They look like a snake when they swim,
thus the nicknames “Devil Bird” or “Snake Bird”.


Anhinga X6137

The African Darter is a sub-Saharan bird that
often nests with Herons, Egrets and Cormorants.
Like Cormorants, they must dry their wings, and
often stand with their wings spread to dry them.
They prefer hunting in warm, shallow water.

Near the bottom of this page, you can
see a Cormorant drying it’s wings.


Bald Eagle HS1858 LG

This difficult shot was taken near dusk in the dark habitat the Eagle is kept in near the Condor exhibit.
It was taken through a mesh screen, so I shot the lens wide open (f/2) to completely defocus the screen.
Because of the wide aperture, the feet would have been defocused so I framed this close to cut them off.

The Bald Eagle is not actually Bald (the name derives from the Piebald, or white, head). The national
bird of the United States, the Bald Eagle is a fish-eating bird that hunts by swooping down on a fish
and grabbing it with its large talons. This is an adult bird... the yearlings are all brown with mottled
feathers and a brown head. The juveniles between two and four years retain some white mottling
until they reach sexual maturity in their fourth or fifth year, but the head is white after the first year.

The Bald Eagle builds the largest nests of any bird in North America (see images of nesting eagle).
More Eagles on the Bosque Raptors page, Alaskan Birds page, and the Raptors and Flight Studies.


Black-Crowned Night Heron HS3718
(1446 x 1446)

The Black-Crowned Night Herons are local birds that fly in to the Park and like it,
preferring to stay here. As they are one of my favorite birds, I have included a number of
large portfolio-grade images here for your personal use. The BCN Heron stands at the edge
of the water like the one above and ambushes fish, crustaceans, frogs and small mammals.

They do quite a bit of their hunting at night, thus their name.


Black-Crowned Night Heron X8281


BCN Heron X8412


Black-Crowned Night Heron HS0840


Black-Crowned Night Heron X8443

Adult Black-Crowned Night Herons have brilliant
red eye sclera (the juvenile’s sclera are orange).


Black-Crowned Night Heron X1443 LG
(1282 x 1930)


Black-Crowned Night Heron HS0377 M
(1200 x 1600)

Note the difference in the color of the sclera in the
juvenile above as compared to the adult on the left.
Also note the mottled feathers typical of juvenile birds.


Black-Crowned Night Heron HS0690, HS1825


Burrowing Owl X5905 LG
(1282 x 1930)

Another image shot through a mesh barrier (this makes a shot difficult to present clearly).

Burrowing Owls are small, long-legged owls that live in burrows like those made by prairie dogs. They are found in grasslands, farms and deserts in North and South America, and unlike other owls they are active during the day, although most hunting is done from dusk to dawn like other owls. When alarmed, they make a hissing call like that of a rattlesnake, scaring off predators.

They eat large insects and small rodents for the most part, along with lizards and frogs. They also eat fruit and seeds, especially prickly pear and cholla cactus, and sometimes small birds. They will sometimes chase small prey on the ground, and are really comical to watch when running.


California Condor HS1879

California Condor

The San Diego Wild Animal Park has been instrumental in the recovery of the California Condor as a species. One of the world’s longest-lived birds (up to 50 years), the Condors were near extinction due to habitat destruction, poaching, and lead poisoning, and a conservation plan was instituted in 1987 where the remaining 22 Condors were captured and bred at the LA Zoo and SDWAP. Their numbers rose due to the captive breeding program, and in 1991 they began to reintroduce them into the wild. Now, there are 332 living California Condors, and 156 of these have been released into the wild.


California Condor HS1881

They look like Uncle Fester (from the Addam’s Family).


California Condor HS1895

Notice the heavy beak and naked head and neck.

Unlike the the Andean Condor which will kill small animals, the California Condor is a true scavenger.
A New World Vulture, it is the largest North American land bird (it is smaller than the Andean Condor).
Its head is bald to help it stay sterile, as it dips its head into the body of carrion. The UV light at high
altitudes along with dehydration sterilizes the head and neck. Skin color varies from yellowish to
a bright reddish orange depending on age of the bird and state of agitation. Their skin flushes
when they are in an emotional state, and this is used for communication between individuals.


California Condor HS1880 LG
(1836 x 1469)

Condors are capable of soaring for miles, riding thermal currents and rarely flapping their wings.
They have been known to fly as fast as 55 mph and as high as 15,000 feet. They roost on high
perches where they can take off with minimal flapping. They bathe frequently and spend hours
each day preening their feathers. They prefer to feed on carrion of large animals, like deer,
goats, sheep, mountain lions, donkeys and horses, pigs, bears and cattle. Occasionally,
they feed on smaller animals such as coyote and rabbits or aquatic mammals and fish.
They often go for days or weeks without eating, then eat so much that they can’t fly.


California Condor HS1908, HS1919 M
(1556 x 1109)

These images are also shot through a mesh barrier.

For those interested in technique, to avoid the mesh intruding on the
image, I selected a large aperture even though shutter speeds were high.
(1879-81 were 1/8000 @ f/2; 1895: 1/3000 @ f/4; composite: 1/1250 @ f/5.6)
I could work with a smaller aperture when the condor was farther from the screen.


Coot Babies X1579

These funky-looking bald-headed birds with the enormous feet are baby coots.
These little guys are so ugly that they are cute. The Benjamin Button of the bird world.

The American Coot is a member of the Rail family and a relative of the Moorhen (Black Gallinule).
Coots are rather aggressive birds, and when they stake out an area on a pond, they often chase other
birds away by running on the water towards them on their huge feet while flapping their wings for stability.
The other bird does the same thing (but in the opposite direction). Watching their antics is hilarious.
Coots eat plant material, aquatic animals and eggs. Note the colorful feathers around the heads
of the baby coots. Mothers tend to feed those babies with the brightest plume feathers, also
known as “chick ornaments”. These chick ornaments disappear in about a week, and they
increase susceptibility to predation, but they also increase the possibility of becoming
a favorite of the parents, so the ornaments are an overall benefit to natural selection.

For the sake of completeness, and to show you what older coots look like, below I have
included two birds shot at the Sepulveda Wildlife Refuge (no watermark, personal use only).


Coot Juvenile 6751

A juvenile Coot who has quite a lot to say. Typical...


Coot Adult 6803

The adult coot just listens patiently to the juvenile squawk.

The featherless front shield of the adult coot and the bald heads of the babies gave rise to the expression:
“bald as a coot”, which has been a part of the English colloquial language since the 13th century. Note the
brownish coloration of the upper part of the shield between the eyes on the adult (both males and females
can have this coloration). The differentiation is by size (the adult males are larger than the adult females).


Demoiselle Crane HS3746

The smallest and second most abundant
crane species (behind the Sandhill Crane),
the Demoiselle Crane is one of only two cranes
that don’t have bare red skin on their heads. They
live mostly in dry grasslands near bodies of water.
They eat plants, insects, grains and small animals.
They have the most difficult migration of any bird.


Demoiselle Crane X1474

They summer and breed in Central Asia and
migrate across the Himalayas to South Asia and
Africa to spend the winter. Many die of exhaustion
from the difficult flight over the Himalaya mountains.


Demoiselle Crane X8218


Eagle Owl HS5971

Sometimes, keepers bring out a bird to visit the
public, such as this Eagle Owl or the Fish Eagle.
Eagle Owls are among the most powerful owls and
live in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.


Eagle Owl HS5966

The Great Horned Owl is an Eagle Owl, and
there are about 24 other species. They prey on
rabbits, rodents, and large game birds, but they
have also taken small deer and other animals.


Flamingo HS1588

The Greater Flamingo filter-feeds on brine shrimp by using their oddly shaped beaks (upside down)
to separate mud and silt from their food. They often stand on one foot, but sometimes stamp their feet
to stir up the mud and dislodge prey. Their pink color is caused by the Beta Carotene in their diet.


Flamingo X8294 LG
(1424 x 1780)

Flamingos have the largest neck and legs in comparison to their body size of any bird.


Flamingo Mating Ritual HS3621-27 M
(1810 x 948)

Flamingoes clack their bills to signal their readiness to mate and the male taps the females bill.
Note the jealous voyeur watching the mating pair. This male was ignored by the female.


Great Egret Portrait HS0888

The Great Egret is a local fly-in, and another
of my favorite birds. As I have detailed studies
of the Great Egret on many other pages, here I
have provided a few portraits and a composite
showing the mating plumage of this large bird.


Great Egret HS0705


Great Egret Portrait X8426


Great Egret Mating Plumage HS0455, HS0472


Great Egret with Prey HS6195

This is an odd image that I typically would not post, but because of its very unusual character
I thought it would be of interest. Great Egrets normally feed on fish, frogs and insects in shallow
water, but here one has captured something that neither I nor anyone else has been able to identify.
I even asked a keeper if she knew what this was, and she was stumped. Probably an extraterrestrial.
Below is a detail crop. Note the creature’s eye and the appendage wrapped around the Egret’s beak.


Great Egret with Prey HS6194c
(detail crop  —  no linked image)


Hammerkop X8657 LG
(1939 x 1293)

The Hammerkop (Hammer Head in Dutch) is a small bird which resembles the storks and herons,
but is related to neither (it is a distinct species in a different family). It mostly eats frogs and tadpoles,
but will also eat fish, insects and crustaceans. It lives in wetland areas of sub-Saharan Africa, southwest
coastal Arabia, and Madagascar. They create enormous nests, often using over 10,000 sticks to create
a nest that will support a man’s weight, and decorate them with brightly colored objects that they find.
They build nests compulsively, 3-5 per year, breeding or not. Sometimes Eagle Owls snatch them.

They have an interesting habit of gathering in groups of 10 or more birds, and running around each
other, screeching, raising their crests, flapping their wings, and sometimes standing on one another.


Harris Hawk HS1986

Another set of shots taken through a mesh barrier, this time you can see what happens when you
can’t get close to the screen. Although I used a wide aperture, the screen intrudes on the images.
These shots were all taken at different times, with different cameras and lenses. The shot above
was taken with a 135mm at f/2.8 in rather marginal light late in the day. The one below was shot
in superb light at 200mm, f/4. The composite below that was taken with a 300mm at f/4 while
the bird was quite active. I am supplying the best of these shots in a large size to allow
you to make a large detailed print if you like (for Personal Use only, of course).


Harris Hawk 3502 LG
(1400 x 2100)

A popular bird with Falconers, the Harris Hawk is primarily found in the Southwestern USA, south to
Chile and central Argentina, but some have been reported at large in Europe and Britain (most likely
escapees from falconers). They live in sparse woodland areas and semi-deserts, and eat birds, lizards
small mammals and large insects. They also hunt in groups, and then take rabbits or other larger prey.


Harris Hawk 4723, 4724 M
(1600 x 1220)

Wing and talon detail. Note especially the long and very sharp talons.


Hooded Vulture HS0659

The Hooded Vulture is an Old World Vulture
and is a relative of Eagles, Kites and Hawks.
They typically inhabit wetter climates and forests.


Hooded Vulture HS3873

A relatively small vulture, they cannot
compete with their larger relatives so they
tend to stay on the fringes, grabbing leftovers.


Hooded Vulture X1616

These images were taken on different
visits at different times of day. I like this guy.


Hooded Vulture X1616c

Here is a tighter portrait crop from
the master image of the previous shot.


Kori Bustard HS0899

Possibly the heaviest bird capable of flight,
the Kori Bustard spends most of its time on the
ground foraging for seeds and lizards. Their weight
ranges from 25-45 lbs. An unverified report exists
of a 75 lb. Kori Bustard, but this is highly unlikely.


Kori Bustard X8259

Native to Africa, the Kori Bustard lives in
arid, open grasslands and savannas. They are
polygnous, breeding with several females at once.


Kori Bustard HS0889

Kori Bustards also eat insects (especially when the birds are younger) as well as small mammals, snakes, seeds, and berries. They have also been observed eating carrion.


Kori Bustard HS3511

Kori Bustards are declining in the wild due to
agricultural development, slow reproductive rate,
a lack of tolerance of human activity, and hunting.


Kori Bustard X8259c

A world-wide program has been instituted to study the Kori Bustard, help them to breed
in zoos and wildlife parks, and to try to determine ways to help them survive in the wild.

The linked image is a crop from the master image (see the 2nd image, above right).


Lorikeet HS6590

Lorikeets are popular, brightly colored small arboreal parrots from Australia, Southeast Asia,
New Guinea and Polynesia. They have brush-tipped tongues specially adapted for feeding on
nectar and soft fruits. They are hyperactive little clowns and are kept in a large aviary at SDWAP
where people can directly interact with them as well as feeding them nectar from little cups.


Lorikeet feeding HS7321


Lorikeet feeding HS7332

Of course, you can get sprayed with nectar...


Lorikeet HS6664

They are unbelievably cute little guys with tons of character, and they are one of the major
attractions at the park, especially amongst children, who are fascinated to get close to birds.
These images are of Rainbow Lorikeets. The one above is a Green-Naped Rainbow Lorikeet.


Lorikeet HS6616

Red-Collared Rainbow Lorikeet.


Lorikeet X5780

Cute, aren’t they?


Lorikeet X5795 M
(1000 x 1600)

A close-portrait of a happy looking Green-Naped Rainbow Lorikeet.


Lorikeets HS6660

A Red-Collared Rainbow Lorikeet and a Green-Naped Rainbow Lorikeet perched on a shaded branch.


Lorikeet X5782, X5787 M
(1500 x 1190)

I am providing two versions of this composite image with different title bars.
The one above is a good size for a display image for an article or report.
 The one below is large enough that you could use it as a cover image.


Lorikeet X5782, X5787 VLG
(2643 x 2029, 648 KB)


Marabou Stork X8271

Uncontested for the title of the least attractive bird
in Africa, the Marabou is a scavenger and pirate
that accompanies vultures at carrion and also
scrounges at rubbish dumps near settlements.
The throat sack is a cooling device and is also
used to display mating readiness and status.

They have the largest wingspan of any
land bird (along with the Andean Condor).


Yellow-Billed Stork HS3481

Yellow-Billed Storks forage in shallow
water for fish and frogs. They stir the water
with one foot to dislodge prey. They have very
quick neck reflexes and snap up anything moving
in the water with very impressive speed.


Saddle-Billed Stork 2996 M
(1014 x 1521)

The tallest and in my opinion most attractive of the Storks is the Saddle-Billed Stork. They eat
small fish, crabs, frogs and water-beetles, and also snatch fish from Cormorants and other birds.
They live in sub-Saharan Africa. They live in marshes and wetlands, typically alone or in pairs.


Red-Crested Pochard HS2385

Part of the zoo population, this is a large distinctive duck native to southern Europe and Asia.
They migrate to North Africa for the winter. They eat aquatic plants like many dabbling ducks.


Red-Crested Pochard HS2356, HS2453 M
(1525 x 1125)


Secretary Bird HS6204c, HS6235c M
(1505 x 1200)

Cropped, larger close-ups from two of the images shown in the composite below.

The Secretary Bird is a large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey native to African grasslands.
Its name derives from the quill-like feathers behind the head which give it the look of a secretary
with quill pens behind her ears (as was common 200 years ago). It has a body like an eagle or hawk
and legs like a crane. They hunt prey on foot (the only other bird that does this is the Caracara). They
eat snakes, insects, small mammals, lizards, small birds and eggs, and sometimes hunt gazelles.
They also are attracted to brush fires, where they prey on animals that didn’t escape the fire.

The Secretary Bird has been known to eat the occasional golf ball (probably thinking it was an egg).


Secretary Bird HS6204, HS6212, HS6235 M
(1432 x 1200)


Shelducks X8167

Part of the park’s collection (rather than a fly-in), the Shelduck is a fairly unusual, pied duck
that eats small shore animals (such as crabs) along with the typical water plants and grasses.
The birds shown above are Common Shelducks, which are native to Europe and Asia.


Shelduck X5934 M
(1500 x 1200)


Shoebill HS6006

The 5 ft. tall Shoebill is a swamp-living bird that
is native to tropical Africa, with an enormous
9” long, 4” wide beak which it uses to scoop up
fish, mollusks, reptiles and carrion from the mud.


Shoebill HS6033

Known to ancient Egyptians and Arabs, it was
discovered by Westerners in the late 19th century.
Long thought to be a relative of the Storks, it is
now considered closer to Pelicans or Herons.


Shoebill X8625

They have recently been successfully
bred in captivity (2008 in Belgium).


Shoebill X8625c

A tighter portrait crop from
the master of the previous image.


Shoebill X5940, HS3356 M
(1546 x 1140)


Southern Bald Ibis X1542

A wading bird that uses its long, thin bill to probe
in dirt or mud for insects, worms, and crustaceans.


Southern Bald Ibis X8645


Turkey Vulture HS3565

This is a local native that flew over the park to see if he could find a tired tourist...

Seriously, the Turkey Vulture is a scavenger that feeds mostly on carrion. Someone would have found
that tourist before they became a candidate for this fellow. On the other hand, SDWAP is a big place.


Wattled Plover X8676 LG
(1826 x 1461)

This bird has a number of names, including White-Headed Plover and White-Headed Lapwing.
Despite the typical name used, it really is a Lapwing, resident throughout tropical Africa near rivers.
It is a wader, with a white crown, a grey face, black and white wings and tail, and yellow wattles.

Believe me, you can’t miss it.    :^)


Wattled Plover LG
(2260 x 1225)


Wattled Crane HS1766

The Wattled Crane stands six feet tall and has distinctive, feathered wattles hanging down
below the throat. The skin in front of the eye and above the wattles is bare and red, and is
covered with small wart-like bumps. They live in sub-Saharan Africa (over half in Zambia).
Wattled Cranes eat aquatic vegetation and sedge grass, grains, grass seed and insects.


Wattled Crane HS1740, HS1751 LG
(1989 x 1200)


Wattled Crane 4950 M
(1050 x 1675)


Western Ruppell’s Vulture HS0445

The Ruppell’s is a Griffon vulture that ranges over much of central Africa. They are social
birds that roost, nest, and feed in large flocks, often in the Serengeti, where they feed on the
enormous number of wildebeest that die off every year (there are over a million wildebeest in
the Serengeti, and they live about 10 years, so 100,000 die naturally every year). The Ruppell’s
has the current record for avian high-flying: an aircraft hit one over the Ivory Coast at 37,000 feet.


Western Ruppell’s Vulture 3560 LG
(1400 x 2100)


Western Ruppell’s Vulture X8464, X8466 M
(1550 x 1186)


Western Ruppell’s Vulture HS0440, HS6333 M
(1525 x 1182)


White-Cheeked Pintails X5763

Part of the park’s collection, the White-Cheeked Pintail, also known as the Bahama Pintail, is a dabbling duck native to the Carribean, South America, and the Galapagos Islands. The males and females are quite similar, with the female being slightly smaller and a little duller in color. The female  also has a somewhat shorter tail.

White-Cheeked Pintails prefer ponds, lakes, estuaries and mangrove swamps with brackish water, and feed on aquatic plants, small invertebrates and seeds. They forage in the same way as many dabbling ducks, by tipping their body so the head is under water and the rear end is up. They do some diving to reach food that is beyond the surface, but only in fairly shallow water. Ducklings dive to escape predators.


White-Cheeked Pintail X5767 LG
(1863 x 1118)


White-Cheeked Pintail X5761 LG
(2144 x 1500)


White-Faced Whistling Duck X5772

The White-Faced Whistling Ducks is native to sub-Saharan Africa and South America. This distinctive long-legged duck lives in freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and other freshwater habitats, and feeds on crustaceans, seeds and plants.

They have a piercing, three-note whistling call, and perch on branches, which gave them the nickname “Tree Duck”. They are most active at night, when they fly to foraging areas where they eat by wading, swimming and diving.

In response to reductions in food, they will occasionally migrate to better foraging grounds in wetland environments, but they rarely migrate further than 300 miles.


White-Faced Whistling Ducks X5951


White-Necked Cormorant X5866c

The White-Necked or White-Breasted Cormorant
is a subspecies of the Great Cormorant, and is the
only Great Cormorant found in sub-Saharan Africa.


White-Necked Cormorant X5883


White-Necked Cormorant X5883c

A tight crop from the master of the image shown above right.


White-Necked Cormorant Nesting X5873


White-Necked Cormorant HS3347, X5861

The bird on the left is drying its wings. Like the Darters (Anhingas), they must dry their
wings before taking off or they have to gain speed for takeoff by running across the water.


Pink-Backed Pelican HS1646

I will conclude this page with some large images of Pink-Backed Pelicans.
These pelicans are resident in Africa and southern Arabia in lakes and swamps.


Pink-Backed Pelican HS1647 LG
(1800 x 1200)

Whoops! Dropped his feather...

The Pink-Backed Pelican is smaller than the White or Brown Pelicans, and prefers
shallow water to the ocean. They roost and breed mostly in trees, but occasionally on
islands, cliffs or reefs. They make nests from huge piles of sticks, laying two or three eggs.


Pink-Backed Pelican HS3633 LG
(1800 x 1525)

A Pink-Backed Pelican resting on a log.


Pink-Backed Pelican HS3677 M
(1500 x 1290)

A yawn gives us an chance to see inside its huge pouch.


Pink-Backed Pelican HS3641 LG
(1200 x 1800)

Notice the large, webbed feet of the Pink-Backed Pelican.
It needs these webs to push a lot of water to gain speed when taking off.


Pink-Backed Pelican X1518 LG
(2144 x 1424)

Shot in flat light on an overcast and rather dark day, this image
allows examination of back detail and offers a nice reflection as well.


Stop by and visit the Animals of the San Diego Wild Animal Park for more images.