A friend of mine that reads my blog mentioned that pelicans might be an interesting bird to learn about, so here are a few facts about pelicans. All of these photos were taken at J. N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
American White Pelican:
- Unlike most birds, which warm their eggs with the skin of their breasts, pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet. They hold the eggs under the webs that stretch from the front toes to the hind toe, essentially standing on the eggs to warm them.
- The White Pelican does not dive for fish as the Brown Pelican does. Instead, it dips its head underwater to scoop up fish. Several pelicans may fish cooperatively, moving into a circle to concentrate fish, and then dipping their heads under simultaneously to catch fish.
- The Brown Pelican frequently lowers its head onto its shoulders with the bill open, pulls its head back, and stretches the pouch over its throat and neck. The exposed neck looks like a large lump sticking up out of the pouch.
- The brown pelican is a plunge diver. It drops from the air with its wings partly folded and dives into the water to catch its prey. It is the only species of pelican that does this!The brown pelican is a plunge diver. It drops from the air with its wings partly folded and dives into the water to catch its prey. It is the only species of pelican that does this!