More than a day late, sorry. I was quite busy and didn’t want to post this without the lil’ bonus animated GIF at the end. And making that involved some playing with hugin – post on the method to follow.
The Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde houses a whole bunch of pelican species. Their enclosure is located on one of the canals that span the old palace gardens of Schloß Friedrichsfelde (sorry, no English wikipedia page), and from there they roam freely. Their wings are clipped, though – no escape from the zoo for them.
Obviously, free-roaming pelicans draw photographers like crazy. Sometimes there are more tripods than pelicans in the garden – and there are a LOT of pelicans.
In the evening, the garden is full of huge birds walking earnestly back to their canal, with a ridiculous waddle and hilarious majesty. In between, they apparently like to swim in the freshly renovated fountain pool in front of the palace. Here’s a view of the fountain pool with the fall-colored park in the background, and one with the palace.
I haven’t really figures out how many different species of pelicans the Tierpark keeps, but there are several. Because I am not the greatest pelican fan,
I am pretty sure there are Pink-backed, Brown, Dalmatian, and Australian pelicans in the Tierpark. I have never consciously seen the advertised Peruvian pelicans, and am rather sure there are no Great White pelicans. To be honest, I am not that much into pelicans. They look ridiculous and stink of fish.I was, however, fascinated when I saw a pelican in the wild, in Yellowstone National Park. it even caught a fish! (and I think this is an American White)
But I am a sucker for animal behaviour. One day at the Tierpark I witnessed a pelican scoop a Common rudd (Scardinius erythropthalmus) from the canal. And once I saw a pelican play with an acorn.
Here’s the best shot again, showing how the bird threw the acorn up with the bill tip to catch it again further back:
I’m not the greatest lover of pelicans either, truth be told. But I’m very impressed by these, as I am by the place! Wonderful pictures and gif!
Ah, what interesting shapes those bills make….
I am especially intrigued by the skin – the way it stretches and attaches. I didn’t get my camera up fast enough when I saw a pelican catch a fish, but it tossed it back down into the sac with the sun shining through the skin, silhouetting the fish – enormously cool!