The Eastern Brown Pelican is common along the South Carolina coastline, and is the only pelican in the world that is not white. These beautiful birds were hanging out on at the Crazy Sister Marina in Murrells Inlet (below) and the Springmaid Pier in Myrtle Beach.
Brown Pelicans once nested along coastal areas from Mexico to North Carolina, but today they only nest in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. The Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary within the ACE Basin is a popular nesting spot for the pelicans, as is Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary in the Charleston Harbor (seen below). Be aware that Devaux is closed to the public above the high water line and Crab Bank is closed during nesting season, which lasts from March 15th through October 15th. The sanctuaries and their residents can be viewed from the water, however.
Joanna Thurman captured the great shot below, and says that she “much prefers winter at Myrtle Beach to summer, as one is more likely to have close encounters with visitors of another type, such as this Brown Pelican. I always carry a little camera in my pocket, and this day it paid off by providing me with a very fond memory. I chuckle every time I look at it because the bird was such a character.”
Dawne Dunton, who captured the shot above, describes the scene like this: “On this day I was taking a lot of photos of Clyde, the mascot of the Springmaid Pier. Unfortunately, I had no treats for him and I think he was getting a little irritable with me, he kept peeking over his shoulder at me probably wondering when I was going to leave him alone.”
Dawne recalls the day she snapped the shot above, “Clyde let me get a little closer and I believe this is his best side. Ready for my close up, I think is what he’s saying with this look. He is a beautiful bird.”