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Pelicans

Copyright Barbara Samuelson 1996

This large bird (Pelecanus occidentalis) is often seen in an attitude of repose, resting its head and huge bill on its breast. The prominent throat pouch allows the bird to scoop up a large mouthful of seawater and separate out the fish. The Brown Pelican performs spectacular dives, plunging from the air straight down into the water in pursuit of its prey. They are 45-54" large. The adults are stocky and dark brown with massive bill and throat pouch and whitish head. Breeding birds have cinnamon-brown on the back of their neck. Young birds have dull brown heads. Adults are silent; nestlings squeal and grunt. Their habitat is on the bays, beaches, estuaries and lagoons.

Pelican
White Pelican

 


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