The Pelican patiently watched me approach in my kayak, but it did not take flight. Had he concluded I was harmless? Or did the Pelican want to be photographed?

Pelican at Estero Bay, Florida. Photo by J. Dean

The Pelican posed for more than thirty pictures but never budged from its perch in a tree on a tiny uninhabited island. I had hoped he would take flight. I wanted a show, but I didn’t get one. The reward for my effort would be not only my photo but the opportunity to spend ten minutes observing this magnificent bird.