American White Pelican Portrait

American White Pelican - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

American White Pelican - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma

I photographed this American White Pelican at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

The bill is huge and flat on the top, with a large throat sac below, and, in the breeding season, is vivid orange as are the iris, the bare skin around the eye, and the feet. In the breeding season, there is a laterally flattened "horn" on the upper bill, located about one-third the bill's length behind the tip. This is the only one of the eight species of pelican to have a bill "horn". The horn is shed after the birds have mated and laid their eggs. Outside the breeding season the bare parts become duller, with the naked facial skin yellow and the bill, pouch, and feet an orange flesh color. (Source: Wikipedia)

The bill horn will get larger on this Pelican and it will also become a brighter orange as the breeding season gets near.

How I Got The Shot - American White Pelican

At the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, I pulled into the Sand Town parking area and spotted this Pelican walking on the fishing pier. I positioned my pickup so that I could photograph it. When the bird saw me it walked off of the pier and onto the grass near the water. I was extremely close and was able to get several profile photos.

I had my Fujifilm X-T3 camera resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/4700 of a second at f8 and the ISO at 800. White Balance was set on auto.

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