|A section of the juvenile Pelicans on a sand spit at Crescent Island.|
the young birds we noticed a parent bird commence feeding a young one – this was
the first time I had seen a feeding session. We were just offshore in a moving
boat and it was fully overcast with light drizzle, so conditions were not great
for photography. However, I did manage to capture about 25 photos of the
session including the post- feeding behaviour of the young bird. The images are
a little grainy due to high ISO setting (1600) and cropping plus light drizzle.
Seventeen of the photos have been selected to show the event as it unfolded.
|This is the first photo of the feeding session – the feeding had been underway for some time before I could locate the birds and get the camera into action.|
|The feeding birds are on the right-hand side of the photo. The position of the birds kept changing as the boat moved.|
|A photo from another angle as the boat has moved. The young bird’s wings are outstretched for balance. The Silver Gulls no doubt hang around in the hope of some spilt food.|
|Feeding continues with the young one’s head well inside the parent’s throat.|
|At this point the parent is about to pull free from the young one and end the feeding session.|
|The parent moved away, throwing sand up as it departed – no doubt the parent knows what is about to follow. The young one looks a bit odd.|
When the parent bird ended the feeding session, the young bird’s head had been inside the parent’s throat for 1 minute and 35 seconds according to the photo times. However my first photo was taken some time after the feeding session commenced, so the full time was even longer.
|The young bird has spun around 180 degrees and is semi prone – nearby juveniles are moving away.|
|The young one staggers up – a dribble of saliva hanging from its bill tip.|
|The young bird launches off looking uncoordinated – the head is tilted to the side – the bird’s motor control was certainly impaired.|
|At this point the bird starts to chase other juveniles.|
|Its head is tilted again suggesting some loss of control.|
|Surrounding juveniles are staying clear of the just-fed young one.|
|The young bird charges off after nearby juveniles.|
|At this point the young one - on the far left - goes down as if its legs have collapsed.|
|The juveniles being chased continue to move away perhaps to avoid being pecked?|
|This is my last photo of the chase.|
Two minutes and eight seconds elapsed from the first feeding photo to the last photo in the above sequence. I did not see the demented juvenile Pelican peck another juvenile - I think by this stage they have experienced this behaviour so many times that they have wised up and know to moved away to avoid being pecked.