Each year between June and July thousands of Brown Pelicans make their way North up the California Coast. Sitting on the observation deck in a friend's back yard in Santa Barbara - looking out over the Pacific Ocean on top of the coastal cliffs, some 70ft above the beach and water - you can watch large groups as they fly up the coast right past you. Some fly at eye level. These are amazing birds - some have 6ft wing spans.
Wildlife photography usually calls for long lenses. I shot the majority of these on my 300mm f/2.8 Nikon lens - the rest were shot on my 200mm f/2.8 Nikon lens. To see why a wide angle lens is great for capturing the totality of the environment but not good for showing any true detail of the animal/bird being photographed - see the image - shot with a 17mm Nikon lens below.
You really get a good feel for the shape of the coast and the size of the cliffs... but wide angle lenses can't get you close to the birds.
These last photos were shot with either the 200 or 300mm lenses. Bird and wildlife photography - do yourself a favor - reach for the longest lens you've got.