19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Scratch Party

Brown Pelicans camouflage in the rocks and scratch away at Point Lobos State Reserve in Big Sur, California. The breeding season for these pouch-bearers peaks in March and April when they start displaying yellow heads and red throats, usually migrating toward the Pacific NW and being found all along the western US coast. However, as the incubation period onsets by June-July, they lose color to a white head and a brownish-yellow throat. As Winter onsets, these birds migrate to warmer waters in the south, making them common in all seasons in Southern California starting around Big Sur.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Carmel By The Sea, California, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D5600
Copyright: © Maitreya Naik