The Queen of the Log pelican decided that she was willing to share her log with another worthy bird. Unfortunately, that did not reflect well on the pelican snoozing nearby.
Meet Rebecca and Svetlana, the stars of TV’s newest blockbuster comedy about a very strange couple that just moved into the neighborhood: Pelican and Coot.
Further out in the bay, two geese had just finished taking turns dipping their heads in the water for foreplay and were ready to get down to business.
Hey, what are you doing? I’m supposed to be the one biting you!
Wait, now I’m confused. I thought I was supposed to bite you; you’re not supposed to bite me!
OW! Goddammit, forget this. I’m outta here.
Okay, I’m trying to be outta here.
The male was happy to terminate the mating attempt when he realized he could get a free ride around the bay by letting the female drag him.
The Queen of the Log got bored with her position and decided to move on.
I abdicate my position in order to be with my one true love . . . FISHIE!
Two pelicans had been swimming together around the bay, occasionally plunging their heads underwater to hunt for fish. They came across a piece of trash and squabbled over who got to play with it.
The pelican who was unable to get to the trash slowly moved on, and her partner abandoned the trash in order to keep up.
Then the pelican who had tried playing with the trash discovered an even better toy.
Oooh! Look what I found!
A brief note about play: Justice Stewart’s aphorism about pornography also works when trying to describe what appears to be object-oriented play among the pelicans. Some instances of play are very obvious, but some are not. Repetition is a good indicator that the pelican is playing, but what about when there is only one incident? In this case, the pelican appeared as though she were purposefully engaging with a useless object, and she had done the same thing with the orange piece of trash just a few minutes before finding the stick. I’ve seen some pelicans, when they are in a playful mood, pick up object after object after object to drop and toss around.
I am Donatello of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Pellies! Check out the awesome moves I can do with my bo!
I WILL SAVE YOU, APRIL O’NEIL!
What, Michelangelo? You think you should be the one to rescue April O’Neil? Fuck you! I will fucking beat you with my bo!
Yeah, you’re scared. That’s right. I know you’re scared.
“Oh no, it’s Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Pellies! I’ve heard she can take out five Foot Soldiers with one swing!”
Hmmm. This is much more difficult to swing than I thought it would be.
So, Shredder. We meet at last.
Take THAT, fucker! Oh yeah! You’re scared; I know it!
She swam over to where the stick had landed. I thought she was going to look for it, but when her companion started swimming toward her, she abandoned what might have been her search and decided to crown herself Queen of the Log.
Perhaps inspired by the Queen of the Log’s play behavior, a different pelican picked up a stick, although she didn’t seem very interested in it. That is not atypical for play behavior: nearby pelicans watching the play can get interested enough that they try to pick up nearby objects and manipulate them. Most of the time, like with this bird, they lose interest quickly. But not always.
I went to the shore to see what was going on over there. Several pelicans were trying to figure out a way onto the prime loafing areas without encountering too much resistance.
Room for two more? Okay, fine; fuck that other pelican. Room for one more?
All right, there, partner: you can stay this time. But next time . . .
I went back to the dock, where a pelican was splashing up a storm as she bathed.
A pelican played with the same bit of trash that a different pelican had found a couple of days earlier.
Another pelican made a mighty leap onto a high-up section of log, got attacked, panicked, and jumped forward off the log into the water. They would have been lovely pictures except I had the exposure set way too dark. Oh well.
But now that exposure level works okay, doesn’t it, pelicansrulegullsdrool?
A pelican that had been swimming suddenly stopped, stood up, and flapped mightily.
After a stirring performance Tamara was awarded first prize in the “air hula-hoop” contest.
Perhaps she was flapping to psych herself up for a confrontation, because after she sank back into the water she steamed toward the Queen of the Log log.
Out past the Queen of the Log log, Dread Pirate Roberts was bathing vigorously.
Sure enough, the swimming pelican reached the Queen of the Log log, paused, and launched herself into the air.
Holy shit! She just drop-kicked that pelican!
The pelican who was kicked managed to stay on the log.
You drop-kicked the mighty Donatello, then you stepped on her foot? YOU SHALL PAY.
When both of the birds were balanced together on the log, I thought they might settle down and share. I underestimated the original pelican’s dedication to keep the log to herself.
WATCH THIS, APRIL O’NEIL!
I may no longer have my bo, but I am a mighty warrior with the BEAK!
Watching them fight was like watching an arm wrestler slowly but steadily force an opponent’s arm down.
I’m losing? This isn’t right!
The pelican who lost looks like a cranky infant who was just put down into her crib when she still wants to be out playing.
The pelican who lost suddenly decided that she was going to fly somewhere far, far away. Then the pelicans of White Rock Lake would be sorry.
Part 3 will include more flapping, another fight, and much more Dread Pirate Roberts action.