PRESENTING: Petros the Magnificent… A Pelican Of Mykonos

I really like this shot of Petros.

I laugh every time I see this shot of Petros. Somehow I think ghost, or maybe preacher. “Shall we gather at the beach, brothers and sisters?” What do you think?

It’s time for another blog quickie! In fact there will be several short posts over the next few weeks. Peggy and I are heading back East to visit with our children and grandchildren in Connecticut and North Carolina for Christmas. I doubt that our five grandsons will allow much time for blogging. 🙂 Besides, you can probably use a break from my thousand word essays!

I blogged about Petros once when I was out wandering around the Mediterranean and met him on the Greek Island of Mykonos. You can go here for the full story. But the bird is so magnificent that he deserves a second post. If you’ve ever been to the island, the odds are he may have hit you up for a fish. Or ignored you. He sees lots of tourists.

Actually this is Petros II. Number one showed up in the 50s in really bad shape. The good folks of Mykonos nursed him back to health. Rather than fly away and work for a living, he decided to hang around and live the good life. Jackie Kennedy even found him a mate. Unfortunately, Petros I met his demise under a truck.

Speaking of the good life, he even has his own little fountain to hang out in.

Speaking of the good life, Petros even has his own little fountain to hang out in.

The bird was quickly replaced. Not only was he well-loved, he was a great tourist draw. One time another island even stole him, hoping to cash in on his popularity. There was almost a war.

That’s it for today… As you read this, Peggy and I are winging our way to Boston.

The look. Aren't I pretty!

The look. “I’m so pretty.” Or, “What are you looking at?”

My favorite.

My favorite. Petros looking pensive.

NEXT BLOG: The picturesque town of Mendocino on California’s rugged northern coast.

What a Wonderful Bird Is the Pelican… A Puerto Vallarta Feeding Frenzy

Pelican hist water upside down in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A Brown Pelican executes an amazing upside down dive to catch fish in Puerto Vallarta as three other pelicans join in the feeding frenzy.

 “What a wonderful bird is the pelican, whose bill will hold more than his belican.” Dixon Merritt

I am enamored with pelicans. These large, gregarious birds that appear to have been created by a committee, skim over the ocean in graceful lines, fly in V formations to distant locations, and crash into the ocean with abandon to catch fish.  Most of my pelican viewing has taken place on the coast of California and Oregon but I have also enjoyed their antics in Florida and the Mediterranean.

California Brown Pelican posed for flight. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A Brown Pelican stands on its toes and prepares for flight in California. I called this photo flight-line.

California Brown Pelicans in flight. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Shortly afterwards, I caught this photo of the pelicans, along with seagulls in flight.

Petra the pelican of Mykonos. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

We found this Great White Pelican named Petros holding court on the Greek Island of Mykonos last year on our trip through the Mediterranean.

Petra the Pelican of Mykonos. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Petros the Pelican of Mykonos gives me the eye. “You wouldn’t happen to have a fish would you?”

Over the past three weeks I have been enjoying pelicans in Mexico. Peggy and I were particularly lucky to find a large flock of them involved in a feeding frenzy right next to Puerto Vallarta’s boardwalk, the Malecon. I’ve often watched pelicans make their unique dives from a distance; this was up close and personal– as I hope our photos demonstrate. I was also able to videotape them and captured 15 plus dives in a few seconds. The action was wild!

Pelican drains water from bill in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

One pelican seems to float in open-billed-amazement as two other pelicans crash into the ocean. Actually pelicans have to drain the water out of their mouths before swallowing their catch, which is what this fellow is doing.

Pelican shows throat pouch in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Check out the size of the Brown Pelican throat pouch here.

Pelicans prepare to dive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Hovering in flight, pelicans prepare to dive. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) The terns, BTW, are hoping to participate in the feast and will happily steal fish from the pelicans.

Brown Pelican in Puerto Vallarta hovers above the water in search of fish. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Preparing for a high dive…

Brown Pelican takes flight off of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Brown Pelican takes off from water.

Brown Pelican appears to walk on water in Puerto Vallarta.

And this guy appears to be walking on water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Brown Pelican dives toward the water of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta.

A Brown Pelican plunges toward the water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) Note the pouch filled with water on the lower right.

Pelican diving for fish in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Plunging into the water. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Brown Pelicans demonstrate different aspects of fishing in Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A small portion of the flock, some 17 pelicans, demonstrate various aspects of fishing.

Pelican feeding frenzy in Puerto Vallarta.

Hard to tell who is doing what, here. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) Liked the graceful tern on the left.

Pelicans feeding in Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

Or here. But I really liked the wing action. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Now it is time to put all of the action together in a brief video…

Pelican caught in sunset glow at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A pelican flies toward its nest at the end of the day.

NEXT BLOG: Having featured the Brown Pelicans of Puerto Vallarta, I’ll move on to feature the Green Iguanas.