After the juvenile was unable to find and retrieve the water bottle from part 2, she dredged up an old, beat-up bamboo fishing pole from the water.
Although I try to watch what all of the pelicans are doing, I pay attention to some situations more than others. A pelican swimming or walking toward shore is one such situation. Not only might the pelican suddenly decide to run or fly, which is great, but I might be able to see a band. If a pelican is banded with a large, colorful band, like the kind used for North Dakota pelicans from Chase Lake, I can photograph the alphanumeric code as the bird is lifting its leg out of the water to walk.
There was some exciting bathing action going on nearby.
I love all the water splashing as the pelican really gets going.
Another pelican—a different one, I think, than the one with the plastic container—found a rock to play with.
Some pelicans were tuckered out.
Another pelican waddled to shore, but instead of stepping up onto land, she got back into the water and swam around in the very shallow water. She kept dipping her head in the water as though she were hunting for fish and brought up a stick. Although it was a large stick, she was able to toss and catch it a few times. She found a few more sticks to play with before she finally settled down to loafing on land.
On the shore, Philoctetes managed to get to her feet and limp further in toward the dock. Where pelicans choose to sleep has to do with where the already-sleeping pelicans are. Being very social birds, pelicans like to stand together and sleep together. On this day, most of the birds were moving closer to the dock to find a place to sleep.
Although birds kept moving onto the shore to loaf, there was still some activity out in the water.
One bird rushed toward the shore.
Another bird was content to do her loafing in the water.
More pelicans were settling down on the shore. Although the pelicans would have liked the loafing grounds to themselves, they had to negotiate with the other birds who also used the area.
I always think of the yellow-brown coloration on a sexually mature pelican’s lower neck as a “puke bib.”
Another pelican joined the pelican that was lying down. That’s how they decide where to sleep: they find a sleeping bird, walk over to it, and sit down next to it.
Philoctetes had been sitting on the ground, engaging in some play activity: she was picking of beakfuls of leaf litter and dropping the litter so that it sifted back down to the ground. Before I left for the day, she stood up and performed a nice bill throw.