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Observations & Images
7 January 2008
A visit to historic Pelican Island

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge manager Paul Tritaik took members of the media on a sunset boat tour around Pelican Island on a stormy January day. Storm clouds can be seen approaching Pelican Island from the east.
The bird population using the Island has rebounded dramatically after a couple of years of low bird numbers. The sight of all the birds on Pelican Island today was quite spectacular.
Some of the birds pictured above include Double-crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis, Brown Pelicans, and White Pelicans. Some unique birds seen on the Island include a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron and American Oystercatchers.
A lone White Pelican amidst the Double-crested Cormorants. Mr. Tritaik explained that these are migratory birds from the northeastern United States and the Canadian Maritime Provinces here to join Florida's resident Cormorant population for the winter.
Decoys were placed in the mangroves to attract birds to the Island last year. Here one has fallen over while another stands guard over it. One of many Brown Pelicans seen heading in to spend the night on Pelican Island.
Brown Pelicans settling in for the night atop the mangroves on Pelican Island. These trees pull double duty as sleeping places during the year as well as cradles to hold Brown Pelican nests during the breeding season.
A flock of Cedar Waxwings undertook an aerial investigation of the Island before flying off.
Another view of some of the birds on Pelican Island.
A Royal Tern watches the boat go by from atop a sign post marking the buffer zone around the Island. A Great Blue Heron comes in for a landing while a Brown Pelican passes overhead.
Double-crested Cormorants silhouetted against the setting Sun.
The Sun sets behind Pelican Island. This beautiful scene ended moments later as cold rain squalls moved off the Atlantic Ocean leading to a wet boat ride back to Sebastian Inlet State Park to end a memorable visit to Pelican Island.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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