Dancing pelicans at sunrise along the shore of Caye Caulker
The Brown Pelican is one of three pelican species found in the Americas, and one of only two that eat by diving into water. It has a white head with a golden wash on the crown in breeding plumage. The nape and neck are a deep maroon–brown color. White lines run at the base of the gular pouch on the upper sides of the neck, and a pale yellowish patch covers the lower fore neck. The male and female are nearly identical, with the female being somewhat smaller.
Brown pelicans eat crustaceans, amphibians, and tiny fish that they obtain when 'diving' into shallow water. While this is recognized as diving, it is best described as "repeatedly hurling itself at the surface of the water" - not the elegant diving observed in seabirds such as the Neotropical Cormorant!
Photograph by Wendy Grandia Satterlund
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