Brown pelicans are sea birds that are famous for their distinct appearance, and their amazing plunge diving skills.
This smaller member of the Pelican family can be found on the east coast of the Americas, from Nova Scotia to the mouth of the Amazon River, and on the west coast, from British Columbia down to the Galapagos Islands.
They are fun to watch especially as they glide in small groups, usually single file or in a v-formation, just skimming the water’s surface searching for fish or even a crustacean.
You might really enjoy how they dive bomb the water, submerging briefly under the water and surfacing with a fish in their pouch.
Here’s a quick video of them doing their famous dive bomb.
Moments after they disappear under the surf, they re-emerge, expelling the sea water, and then swallowing the fish.
Brown Pelican – Endangered Seabird
Governments such as the USA have classified them as endangered, after their decline when DDT pesticide was still legal.
The residue from that chemical poisoned the fish, and the pelican in turn suffered, since their diet consists mainly of fish.
Fishermen love and hate the pelican, because they can consume potential fish that would benefit the fishermen, but they also eat diseased fish, so they act as a clean up crew.
Meanwhile, more dive bombing…
The brown pelican is the state bird of Louisiana. It is also the national bird of Saint Kitts.