When you see pelicans fishing these days, chances are you'll also see some Heermann's gulls. Small and nimble, the gull stalks a pelican in hopes that, in that unguarded instant when the pelican lobs its catch from its pouch to its gullet, the gull can dart in and steal it.
As a devoted member of Team Pelican, I am happy to report that this morning, the pelicans won. They do this thing where, after bobbing to the surface with their meal, they keep their heads dropped, bills dipped down in the water. The instant the tide or the surf or a split second of inattention moves the gull out of range, whoosh!, the pelican does a successful toss-and-swallow.
Pelican splashes, gulls stalk.
The 'dip your bill' maneuver.
Pelican 1, gull 0.