Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 24, 2015 - BF - The Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

     Pelicans are very interesting creatures. They dive from the sky and float in the water. These birds are about the size of a large microwave oven and have very interesting features.

     A pelican looks amazing. It has a long large beak that is a gray color and a head of white, but has a yellowish streak in adults. The stomach is black and brown, but the rest of its body is a brownish gray color with a rusty hue. It has feet and legs of a black color. Although the size is remarkably large, it is the smallest of the eight pelican species!

     Diving through the air, a pelican is aiming to catch a fish. It splashes into the water, submerging fully. Pelicans often eat fish, but sometimes they will eat an amphibian or crustacean. Pelicans live in the western hemisphere, in the coastal areas of the southern and western U.S. but pelicans are spread out all around America’s coastal areas. They build nests on trees, bushes, and on the ground. Their nests are made of mud if on the ground, or feathers if in trees or bushes.

     Another interesting fact about pelicans is that they are some of the least concerned animals in the rate of extinction. They live to be about 40 years old, and have 2-3 young to take care of at a time. The young lives with parents for 68 to 88 days, and then the young go off on their own. They eat up to 1.8 kilograms, or 4 pounds, a day. The brown pelican migrates up north to British Colombia for the summer, then migrates down south to warmer waters for the winter.

     I have seen pelicans from Southern California to all the places I've been in Mexico. They look odd when they fly, because their heads rest on their bodies when flying. It is always fun to watch them dive into the water, and see which one makes the biggest splash. They are so fun to watch! 

by Cindy Elston