Brown Pelican

The brown pelican is one of Florida’s most conspicuous and popular birds. They are often featured in photographs, postcards, paintings, sculptures and tourist shops. Although brown pelicans can be seen just about everywhere along Florida’s coastline, they are an endangered species.

These popular birds have a lot of personality and can easily entertain a crowd with their yawns, stretches and dives for fish. Pelicans are commonly seen flying together in long lines across the sky. They are expert divers and clever at catching fish. Did you know that on a dive, the impact of a pelican’s body with the water actually stuns the fish? Rather than spearing its catch with a beak, the pouch underneath the pelican’s beak puffs out like a fishnet. Using this pouch, the pelican scoops up its fish, surfaces and tilts its pouch to drain it.

Colonies of pelicans are most often found on coastal mangrove islands. But not all brown pelicans look alike. Feather variations are determined by the bird’s sex, age and the time of year.

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