I don't remember seeing brown pelicans on the Oregon coast while growing up, so I don't know why I am seeing so many nowadays. I find these birds very fascinating due to their size, diving and shape. While on the coast, I saw more brown pelicans than sea gulls even! They were having a feast along the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean and I took advantage of this with my camera on hand.
A common tern showed up looking for fish as well.
According to the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds the Brown Pelicans are having a comeback now that some pesticides were banned. That must be why I am seeing them more often!
With Astoria in the background, a brown pelican searches for lunch.
These birds can dive over 50 feet when they see their prey. They resurface to swallow the fish.
Brown Pelicans are tame birds that are more sensitive to chemical pollutants found in the fish they eat. There have been incidences in the last few years of mass pelican deaths due to this. A good reminder of the importance to stop pollution of our oceans since this affects all life forms.