White Pelicans of Pyramid Lake

White Pelicans Flying Over Anaho Island

Anaho Island is a wildlife refuge in Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  It is home to one of the two largest colonies of American White Pelicans in the Wesstern United States.   I woke up at 5:30 to head for Pyramid Lake to capture pics of the White Pelican migration.   It was a sunny morning with a slight wind that put a chill in the air.  I parked just south of where the Truckee River meets Pyramid Lake and hiked about a quarter mile in through sage and muck.   I set up my tripod and started clicking.  They were flying overhead and making wonderful flight patterns low to the water.

White Pelicans Waiting for the Elusive Cui Cui Fish

The Pelicans main staple food is the Cui Cui fish.  A sucker fish that can live up to 40 years.  It is an endemic species to Pyramid Lake, which means it is a species that is only found in a particular region and nowhere else in the world.

Pelicans in Flight

The infamous Pyramid is in the background.  I used a Cannon EOS 1 Ds Mark 2 with a 400 mm telephoto lens borrowed from my friend Mark to get most of my shots of the Pelicans.  There were hundreds of them sitting on small islands created by a low water level. Thanks to Mark, I got this great shot of them taking off while he was hiking in to get a little closer.

Flying High

White Pelicans wing span can be anywhere from 6 to 10 feet.  This particular Pelican has what they call a breeding bump on their beak, but unfortunatly I did not get close enough to get a shot of it.   In the photo below,  you can almost see the bump on their beaks.

Three's a Crowd


Anaho Island

Pyramid Lake surrounds the Island of Anaho.  The white patches are pelicans hanging out on the Island.   I took this photo north of the Truckee River inlet, near the Pyramid on the Lake Range side.

The Pyramid


Happy Trails……..Sal







About Sally

“All too often, we take for granted the gifts of nature that surround us everyday.” With her camera, Sally Hanrahan captures images that move the spirit and imagination, and marries those images of spiritual, natural, and rugged beauty with the changing of the seasons. Originally from Michigan, Sally’s interest as a photographer came at the early age of fifteen. Her parent’s love of nature influenced her appreciation for the beauty and serenity that Mother Earth created. Her Grandmother’s love of photography and her Mother’s amazing talent with oils and watercolors brought to life the landscapes she yearned to visit. A self trained photographer with a natural talent, Sally has been capturing landscapes for over 30 years. Her pictures were shown at the 2007 Sierra Autumn Photo Exhibit at Bartley Ranch and won the 2nd place People’s Choice Award for ‘Fall at Caughlin Ranch.’ Sally took first place in two categories for the Nevada Magazine’s 2011 Great Nevada Picture Hunt and won Event runner up in 2015. She has shown ‘Fighting Mustangs’, a tribute to the wild horses of Nevada, both at the Artistic Viewpoints Gallery in Gardnerville, NV for the Wild Mustang Exhibit, and at the Truckee River Gallery in Reno for the ‘Art of the Horse’ exhibit. She was among those who showed at the Patagonia outlet for the Winnemucca Ranch fundraiser. In addition, Sally has presented her photo art periodically at the Truckee River Gallery in downtown Reno and for the Nevada Land Trust Fundraisers at Rancho San Rafael Wilbur D. May Museum. Sally moved to Reno in 2006, and devotes her high energy and free time to hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and anything having to do with the outdoors. She has worked as a landscape designer for over 25 years and is especially fond of perennial gardens. The landscape is her pallet and her camera is always hanging from her shoulder ready for the next breathtaking shot. “The journey that you take is more important than your destination” Unknown www.sallyhanrahanphotography.com salgal777@me.com
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