Starved Rock State Park: Pelicans and Hummingbirds — 5* Pix

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Total Shots taken 383
Number Acceptable for Future activity 13
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 21 (5.5 %)

 

The Pelican

A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?

 

Author: Edward Lear
Source: http://forums.familyfriendpoems.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=964#ixzz36dp8VJDP

 

I couldn’t resist it. I told a god friend that I had spotted some pelicans while at Starved Rock, and he recited from memory the first few lines of this limerick. So yes, I had to look up limerick, and include it in this posting.

 

There are really several Starved Rock stories, and this series would not be complete without the story of the birds. It turns out that the Illinois River was a stopping point on the migration path for pelicans. They liked it so much that it became a permanent point for them. Looking out from the top of the Starved Rock, a host of pelicans sat together in the river. From time to time some would leave the flock and fly around. Having not really seen too many pelicans in the wild, so to speak, it was fabulous!

 

Of course, I was on the lookout for eagles, until I was reminded that they are a winter bird!

 

But an unexpected bonus was the hummingbirds – the park has a butterfly and hummingbird garden near the visitor’s center. Hummingbirds are the smallest of birds, but they move very fast. Their wings flap at speeds that enable them to seemingly hover in mid-air – from 50 to 200 times per second.

 

Well, enough of the nature lessons, here are my 5* pix of the birds at Starved Rock:

  • Pelican Rookery: Pelicans gather in colonies and live communally. From the top of Starved Rock, you could see the group, but it was only in the close up picture that I realized they were actually pelicans.
  • In Flight (3): Wow! I looked up at the sky only to find that it was dotted with pelicans, first a few, then more and more.
  • In Flight Up Close: At one point, the pelicans flew close by, and I was able to capture images on one thru the trees, and several coasted past us over the river.
  • Hummingbird at the Feeder (2) – Given how fast these birds move, catching them in flight is impossible. This feeder was critical to being able to get these images.

As you can tell, I loved watching the birds. I hope you enjoy these 5* selections!

2 thoughts on “Starved Rock State Park: Pelicans and Hummingbirds — 5* Pix

  1. Love the shots of the pelicans. They are/were beautiful in flight. WOW! Never knew exactly what a hummingbird looked like (other than a tiny bird with fast-beating wings)–love that first shot of the bird with its “collar.” Great pics.

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