Taken from a short trip on our boat out of Santa Cruz Harbor, this pelican was one of hundreds flying directly over the mast of our sailboat at high noon just outside of Santa Cruz Harbor in Monterey Bay. He was backlit by the noon sun. During my college years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the pelicans were on their way to extinction because exposure to the pesticide DDT made their eggshells too thin to support successful hatching of their young. Since DDT's ban in 1972, the Brown Pelican was removed from the Endangered Species status in 2009. As this photo shows, brown pelicans are thriving today.