Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Sea of Birds

Fisherman in middle of Feeding Frenzy, Pucusana, Peru

I am off to Peru again next week, working on an endangered primate and some rare birds in a remote part of the Andes. I should have some interesting pictures soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to share this image of a massive seabird congregation from Peru earlier this year. The Humboldt Current - the cold current that bathes the west coast of South America - is one of the most productive on Earth. That productivity becomes obvious when you see thousands of birds crashing into the water in a frenzy such as the one I witnessed here. 
Surprisingly, I was on land when I took this picture, so this massive pelican flock was diving into the water right in front of me, VERY close to shore.  A few minutes later, the prey had moved away from the coast, and so had the birds.
The great irony about the vast numbers of seabirds all along the Peruvian coast is the fact that current seabird numbers are only a fraction of what they were a generation ago.

Nikon D3 with 24-70mm lens

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