Pelican Island, a part of the Everglades Headwaters NWR complex located off the western coast of Orchid Island in the Indian River Lagoon just east of Sebastian, Florida was the first National Wildlife Refuge in the United States in 1903. President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order on March 14, 1903 to protect egrets and other birds from extinction through plume hunting. Shore birds like egrets, herons and pelicans began to thrive. There are two pelicans found in the United States.
American White Pelicans can be found in a good portion of North America. American White Pelicans cooperate when feeding. They corral schooling fish towards the shallows blocking them in making it easier to scoop of the fish. The pelicans in the photo above were doing just that as I watched them turn direction several times until they got closer to shore and began dipping their beaks below the water surface.
The Brown Pelican are plunge divers and will dive from great heights to attack their prey. It is a magnificent sight to watch them feed. The Pelican in the photo above is a breeding Brown Pelican (Atlantic) which is apparent from the yellow on the top of the head. Juveniles are quite clumsy when learning to plunge dive. They are observed in doing so from barely leaving the water’s surface and jabbing at whatever may or may not lurk under the water.
This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.