For my latest assignment, and perhaps for a more select series in the future, I’ve pursued a beautiful but challenging subject: pelicans.
The photographs below were taken in the British Virgin Islands, famous for these majestic birds, so much so that even a small island there was named after this sea faring avian. The pelican lineage has prehistoric roots, living beside humans in such distinct ways that ancient Egyptians have woven them in to their mythology, at times being called the “mother of the king”.
Christian counterparts have conversely set the pelican in pious standing. Pelicans mothers were observed in seemingly self-sacrificial acts by feeding their young her own blood by wounding her own breast when food was scarce. (This blood-feeding theory has later been repudiated by biologists yet it remained symbolic of the Passion of Jesus Christ.)
Even academics have subscribed to this aviary piety, with both Oxford and Cambridge colleges each making the pelican part of their emblem.
As always, I would love to hear your comments and feedback.
— Robert Rosenkranz