I photographed this American White Pelican coming in for a splash landing at the Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam in Oklahoma. You will notice suds in the water. This was up close to the Dam where the water’s released causing the suds. The water being released also causes the shad action which draws the birds to this place during the winter.

Shad are cold intolerant, and they die off in massive quantities when water temps dip below 45 degrees. When the winter kill starts, birds gather below dams and gorge on these dying shad.

American White Pelican Landing In Suds
American White Pelican Landing In Suds

How I Got The Shot – American White Pelican Landing In Suds

I was close to the Dam sitting near the edge of the water in the rocks with my tripod and camera. I was using a Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera with a Canon EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Back-button focus
  • Aperture f8.0
  • ISO 320
  • Shutter speed – 1/2500 sec.
  • Auto White Balance
  • Exposure Compensation – -1/3 EV
  • Single Point, Continuous Auto Focus
  • Multi Metering
  • Focal Length – 500 mm

Here are a couple of more photos of American White Pelicans I have photographed: American White Pelican With Minnow and American White Pelican Portrait