Tuesday, December 15, 2015
I'll Fly Away
We were walking along the Marsh Walk in Murrells Inlet last week watching the wildlife and enjoying a nice fall day at the beach when this fellow decided I had gotten a bit too close. I managed to catch him before he got away. Some of the other posts were resting places for gulls and cormorants.
Here are some interesting facts about the Brown Pelicans:
They are sometimes the victims of theft. Gulls often try to steal fish from the pelican's pouch as they drain the water after a dive, sometimes while perched upon the pelican's head. How rude!
Pelicans incubate their eggs by standing on them. When startled, a hasty takeoff can cause them to crush their eggs.
Brown Pelicans are only one of two species of Pelicans that plunge dive for food; the other being the Peruvian Pelican.
They live on both the East and West coasts. They breed on the barrier islands of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Mangrove Islets in Louisiana and Florida, and rocky islands off the West Coast.
Pelicans eat mostly small fish such as mullet, anchovies and herring, diving from heights of up to 65 feet. Their throat pouch can hold up to 2.6 gallons of water, which they drain before swallowing their catch.
Adults are silent except during wing-jerking displays that forces air out of their lungs and produces a rather hoarse sound. Like most birds, the young call for food when they're hungry.
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