Monday, December 22, 2008

White Pelicans

Today at Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge I finally got some pictures of the illusive white pelicans. Last time we were there the battery in my camera died. These birds are huge - standing five feet tall with a seven to eight foot wingspan. Their more common cousins, the brown pelicans are the ones normally seen on the beach or diving for fish.

A brown pelican. Notice how different they look!
One more picture of the roseate spoonbill. According to my bird guide, they stand just under three feet tall. This picture shows the spoon shape of their bill but does not do justice to their bright pink color.

Besides bird watching, I've been collecting seashells - lots of seashells. I come from a shell collecting family. My parents met at the annual meeting of the American Malacological Union (now Society) in 1939. They married in December, 1941 and spent their honeymoon on Sanibel. I grew up with shells all over the house. Mother's collection is now at Harvard and Dad's is housed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. My father, Horace was president of the AMU, and editor of The Nautilus; my mother, Bernadine (Bunny) was business manager.

Beth and I remember collecting trips as children and now that we are older - it seems to all be coming back. I even remember one of the scientific names our father taught us - "Busycon" (whelk). Beth is much better at identifying shells than I am and recently posted a great guide on her blog. Her pictures are excellent so be sure to check it out.

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