A-Z Challenge – P is for Pelican

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 Pelican

American White Pelicans

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.

Brown Pelican

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.

Did I mention this is my favorite bird?

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.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - 2021 badge

10 Comments on “A-Z Challenge – P is for Pelican

  1. Love the white pelicans. A large flock of them harbored in an inlet where I was able to photograph them during a cold spell in Florida, Longboat Key area. Beautiful and a little like swans. shirleyjdietz.com in the A to Z Challenge

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    • I’ve been to Longboat Key many times. I lived in the Tampa area for 21 years. When they migrate in, they can be seen all over Florida. 🙂

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  2. I love pelicans, too. We live in the migration path for the white ones. They float above a bit like a blimp – broad, silent, and appearing to move slowly. They are always a beautiful surprise when I hike around the ponds they overnight in.

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    • That is awesome! We are in the migration path too for a lot of birds. Florida is the perfect place to be during all season so migration. The White Pelicans are always a treat when we see them! 🙂

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      • I live in Colorado, so there are less birds and most of the large ones are raptors, so the big white blimps are a pleasure to see! I envy you living in Florida – so many birds!

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  3. I like that brown pelican in ceramic. What a lovely piece.

    I’d seen a brown pelican once a little south of San Francisco. I suppose there is a Pacific population too.

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