Thursday, January 21, 2021


 A study in Brown Pelicans for you today.  I love watching them skim along the shore, and I thought Gregg's sister's photographs were fabulous.

Here are some facts about them.

Brown pelicans are the only species to dive into the water from 9 m (30 ft) above to capture prey. After catching the prey and a lot of water, they tip their bill downward to drain the water before swallowing the fish.

While brown pelicans are known for diving, they will never be deep divers due to the extensive system of subcutaneous air-sacs that give them their buoyancy in the water.

The pelican's pouch (gular pouch) is used as a dip net to catch fish, which are soon swallowed into the stomach (the center of gravity) so that they can maintain their balance while flying.

They have an extendable sac of skin at the base of their throat, which is capable of holding up to 11 liters (3 gallons) of water, several times more than their belly.

Most fossil species of pelican are placed in the same genus as the modern pelican due to extreme anatomical similarities. This suggests that the present form of pelican has changed very little over the past 30 to 40 million years.

The brown pelican, the smallest of the Pelecanidae family, can fly up to 48 kph (30 mph).

Its gular pouch may be used to disperse heat as well as to collect fish and rainwater.

Brown pelicans are best adapted to living alongside humans. They are frequently seen at fishing ports up and down the coast, opportunistically feeding on fish scraps discarded by fisherman.

I bring you these photos with thanks again to my sister-in-law.  Thanks for looking and enjoy the rest of your week.