Posts Tagged: Brown Pelican

Brown Pelicans

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The Brown Pelican is an interesting seabird. They dive headfirst from high above the ocean into the water for fish. They use the force of the impact of their plunge dive to stun the fish and then scoop them into their pouch. This maneuver can cause as much as 2 to 2.5 gallons of water in the pelican’s throat pouch, which they need to drain. Frequently as they are draining the water from their pouch, gulls fly over and steal the fish right out of its pouch. The Brown Pelican lives year-round in some areas of Florida. I photographed this one flying low over the water with its wingtip almost dipping into the water surface as it glided by.    

Brown Pelican

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I was watching the waters around Merritt Island, Florida and this Brown Pelican landed just to my left in a marshy area. This adult is in breeding plumage with bright blue eyes, pink bill, reddish brown neck and yellow head. These birds are big and stocky with a 79 inch wingspan and seem clumsy on land. This one looks quite graceful as it is landing, almost as if it is conducting an orchestra.