‘Love Pelicans’: Buy a Book, Save Pelicans!!

Pelican flying, Queen Bess Island, Louisiana, in the path of the BP oil spill. (Copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

Pelican flying, Queen Bess Island, Louisiana, in the path of the BP oil spill. (Copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

Cheryl Gerber is a talented New Orleans-based photographer who has come out with a new book: ‘Love Pelicans.’ It’s a ‘Blurb for Good’ book that you can buy online and all profits from the sale go directly to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, one of the nonprofits that is working to save Louisiana’s birds from the horrible effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The cover of Gerber's pelican book. All proceeds go to benefit bird rescue. (Photo copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

The cover of Gerber's pelican book. All proceeds go to benefit bird rescue. (Photo copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

Like lots of local photographers, Gerber has been out covering the oil spill and its effects on the Gulf’s ecosystem these past few months. In the process, she’s discovered how stately and majestic our state bird, the Brown Pelican, actually is. I did an interview with Gerber about the book project. Here’s some of what she had to say:

How did you get the idea for the book?

I got the idea for the book after putting up some photos on Facebook to share with friends and that started a rash of comments. Who knew so many people loved pelicans? I decided to do a book because I was so moved by the folks at the bird rehab center in Fort Jackson working in the heat with the most horrible smell of fish and dead birds that I wanted to do something to help.

How about the photos? Are they all recent or are some older (pre spill)?

All of the photos were taken recently while on assignment for the oil spill.

Tell me about your experiences shooting our state bird…anything memorable stand out?

Though I had been to Grand Isle, La., many times before, I had never witnessed the rookeries, Queen Bess Island and Cat Island, until the spill. Though I had always loved pelicans, I was amazed by the sight of their interactions with their babies, each other and man. While searching for oiled birds through a 400 mm lens, I witnessed their love and preening of each other. In a few of the photos, they seemed to be dancing!  Equally curious, was their curiosity of humans. They seemed to be watching us watching them. It was beautiful and heartbreaking.

Pelicans on the rookery, Queen Bess Island. (Photo copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

Pelicans on the rookery, Queen Bess Island. (Photo copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

What sort of response have you gotten to the book so far?

The response has been great but sales not. I’ve only sold about a dozen books because  the high price of books on demand make it difficult. But more than 400 people have viewed the book so I know there is interest. So now I’m trying to get estimates on printing some to put in stores.

Pelican flies low over the water near Queen Bess Island, Louisiana. (Copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

Pelican flies low over the water near Queen Bess Island, Louisiana. (Copyright 2010 / Cheryl Gerber)

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for spreading the word!

So if you’ve been wondering what you might do to help, here’s a great new way: buy a book and help save the birds!

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Related content on the web:

Cheryl Gerber’s website

International Bird Rescue Research Center

Information about Blurb for Good books


Posted in: Nature

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

5 Comments on "‘Love Pelicans’: Buy a Book, Save Pelicans!!"

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  1. Ann says:

    I just viewed this book on line and it contains some great photos – I particularly liked one showing a group of pelican chicks. The book is not so expensive (around $30) and would make a great Christmas present and, in fact, I am thinking of buying it for my father. I must confess I am a bit of a pelican fan as I often walk past a group of pelicans living, amazingly, in St James Park in central London.

  2. Elroy says:

    I am glad you have put out this effort for the pelicans. The oil spill is unacceptable and with all the money we have given wall street, banks here and in other countries and domestic and foreign corporations, it is a crime that we don’t have all the money necessary to help these birds. I think its hard to have a book out without being in print sometimes where people can actually pick it up and look at it. Also try getting in book outlets at airports, that’s a great way to get people seeing it.

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