Pelican Panorama

American White Pelicans, Baylands, California

Keeping with the bird theme - this post was originally published November 21, 2012.

This is my first ever wildlife panorama, stitched together from four generously overlapped horizontal frames shot handheld. Come to think of it, this has to be my first handheld panorama, as well. Shot at a fast enough shutter speed, camera shake wasn’t an issue. Movement of individual birds during the sequence wasn’t an issue either, as I was careful to allow a generous amount of overlap between frames, around fifty percent, and place the edge of each frame between pelicans. I also needed to leave enough room around the line of pelicans to crop in on the panorama slightly in case my individual frames didn’t line up perfectly, which they didn’t.
These birds crack me up; they’re like caricatures from some cartoon.  Not only do they fly in line, they stand in line as well. The Sibley guide uses the adjective ponderous to describe them. Slightly larger than a male turkey, their landings may not be graceful, in the air they soar on nine foot wingspans.