Great Blue Herons and Black-Crowned Night Herons are often found at the marina, especially in the mornings and evenings when there is less human activity. The herons nest in nearby cypress trees and at the Palace of Fine Arts. They can be found throughout the Marina, including on docks, boats, and the mudflats on the western edge of the harbor. There are few natural backgrounds, so photographing the birds requires creative use of the urban environment.
Black-Crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron
Brown Pelicans frequently fly up and down the San Francisco Bay. The marina provides a good vantage point from which to photograph them, especially the wave organ at the eastern end of the marina.
The prevailing wind blows into the bay, so the pelicans fly up high coming into the bay and skim over the water coming when heading toward the ocean. It can be challenging to get catchlights during golden hour, as the pelicans fly almost directly towards or away from the sun.
The pelicans occasionally fish in the harbor and in the bay.