And the Award Goes To…

Thinking back over our two seasons in Mexico, it’s difficult to decide on a favorite marine mammal. Breaking down the category into dolphins and whales doesn’t help either. Bottlenose dolphins come closer when we’re at anchor, but common dolphins stay longer on our bow. And while we were blown away by being so close to the gray whales in San Ignacio lagoon, in terms of encounters on Sugata, we’re quite taken by the humpbacks.

In the bird category, though, there is really no contest. Sure, the frigate birds are spectacular arialists, but they are such shameless thieves! The boobies have much to recommend them: they’re cute, they dive like arrows, and hey, they’re called boobies! But alas, none can compare to the ubiquitous, splendiforous… pelicans!

Whether in the shallow coves or the open sea, we see these hard-working birds fishing from sun-up until after sunset. They often hunt together, with several circling, angling, and then diving straight at the water with a resounding crash, only to bob back to the surface almost instantly. They’ll sit a moment, letting the water drain from their pouches, and then, after a little shake of the tail, they’re off again for another go.

In some bays, like The Hook at Isla San Francisco, there might be hundreds of pelicans fishing and resting. We like to sit in the cockpit at sunset and watch them circle and dive; it’s better than watching Nova on PBS!

Sometimes, a bird will fly overhead, and without seeing it, I’ll know it is a pelican because of the slight whistling sound of its wings. And maybe it is that recognition, that familiarity, that pleases me most.

One Response to “And the Award Goes To…”

  1. […] a hard choice, the folks over at Sugata can’t decide. Can you? Sometimes, a bird will fly overhead, and without seeing it, I’ll know it is a pelican […]