Sunday, August 25, 2013

Brown Pelican

The Brown Pelican (Scientific name - Pelecanus occidentalis) is a large stocky seabird found on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Americas. On the Atlantic they range from Nova Scotia to Venezuela and on the Pacific from British Columbia to Chile and are also found in the Galapagos. They are one of the most common birds along the coastal areas of the Southern and Western U.S. They feed on fish and have a large stretchy throat pouch for catching fish.

The Brown Pelican has a grey/brown body and with yellow heads and white necks. The neck is long and thin, they have a long bill and a long wingspan. Immature Brown Pelicans are all grey/brown including the head and neck. 

There may be slight regional differences between the Brown Pelicans found on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, with the ones on the Atlantic said to be smaller and the ones on the Pacific having a red throat pouch.

The top three photos were taken in Florida in March 2011. The bottom photo was taken near Pismo Beach, California in August 2005.  

Immature in Flight

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