The pelicans, and their fellow fish-eating birds — cormorants, egrets and others — were out again today. I got some good footage in slow motion of the pelicans diving. Note how, just before they hit the water, they pull their enormous wings all the way back, like a fighter jet going supersonic. These “free shows” are one of the best things about living by the lake, though there are — especially lately — plenty of drawbacks.

Brown pelicans and cormorants rest on floating booms in Lake Merritt.
Other birds, like the great egret (Ardea alba — or Casmerodius albus, if you’re old fashioned) and the enormous white Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, just visible at the upper right, stick close to the feeding frenzy.
One of the unpleasant things about living by Lake Merritt is that people use it as a trash can.
Though the downtown area around Lake Merritt was beautifully designed as a city center to attract people, lately it has been attracting destroyed vehicles.
When the pelicans party, they don’t trash the neighborhood.
The birds don’t start fires or shoot off explosives, either.
Note the orange “violation” tag. No kidding.

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