Pelicans, Briefly

Goleta Beach is a wonderful painting spot, especially near the slough. But today, the beach belonged to the birds: a squadron of pelicans, a colony of seagulls, a gulp of cormorants.

I'll never cease to be amazed by the sight of dozens of pelicans. They were almost nonexistent in the early 70s. Growing up in California, I don't think I ever saw a pelican until I was in college. It was discovered that due to DDT poising pelican chicks were not hatching successfully due to a major thinning of their egg shells (falcons and eagles have also been affected). The public reacted quickly. Pollutants were dealt with and the pelican populations have rebounded. In 2009 the brown pelican was delisted from the endangered list.  Today the pelicans outnumbered the people on the beach. 

I was inspired today to take photos and generally harass the prehistoric looking birds. I think we all had fun.