We know that pelicans “learn” this behavior because adults are better marksmen than young birds. During this period, the fledglings learn to fly by standing at the size of the nest and imitating their parent, whom typically is standing on a nearby tree branch flapping its own wings. Brown Pelican Facts. It has a long beak with a thin, membranous pouch. Squadrons glide above the surf along southern and western coasts, rising and falling in a graceful echo of the waves. The length of the brown pelican measures around 106 – 137 cm (42 – 54 inches). 11. Diet Includes fish and surface minnows Incubation 28 to 30 days Clutch Size 1 to 3 eggs Black legs, webbed feet. Flies close to the water in straight line. The brown pelican is a large, grayish-brown bird with a blackish belly and a white head and neck. The pelicans in some areas migrate seasonally, but others do not need to migrate. A Brown pelican is territorial with regard to its nesting area. This species feeds on fish and has a very unique way of foraging. The Brown Pelican is a comically elegant bird with an oversized bill, sinuous neck, and big, dark body. Pelicans have also learned that a steep dive angle, between 60 and 90 degrees, reduces aiming errors caused by water surface refraction. When they are not fishing, they rest and dry their wings on a nice sunny dock or piling. We know that pelicans “learn” this behavior because adults are better marksmen than young birds. I studied brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) behavior at two sites within this marine zone of responsible fishing; Tárcoles (N09 45.376' - W084 37.642'), a fishing town, and Punta Leona (N09 42.299' - W084 39.853'), a hotel and nature reserve. The brown pelican is a seabird, spending most of its time on or near the ocean. ; They have grayish long bill, with a white head, pale yellow eyes coupled with almost black breast gives it at a completely unique look. 12. With its unique behavior and classic pelican proportions, however, this member of the Pelecanidae bird family is instantly recognizable and a popular bird along coastlines from North America to northern South America. Black legs, webbed feet. Feeds on fish by plunge diving and scooping them up with pouch. Brown pelican chicks spend little time in the nest, only about five weeks. ; The wingspan of these types of pelicans is 1.83 – 2.5 metres (6.0 – 8.2 feet). While Brown Pelicans will crash dive into the water for fish, the only other North American pelican -- the American White Pelican will simply dive for fish from the surface. Size Approximately 120 cm (48 in.) Brown Pelican: Large, unmistakable seabird, gray-brown body, dark brown, pale yellow head and neck, oversized bill. These birds usually live in groups, called flocks, which fly and forage together. Adult Brown Pelicans incubate their eggs with their webbed feet. Powerful flight alternates flaps with short glides. 14. Threat displays, often carried out when another pelican is too close to an individual’s nest involve head swaying, indicating readiness to interact, and bowing and a "hrraa-hrraa" sound. Pelicans have also learned that a steep dive angle, between 60 and 90 degrees, reduces aiming errors caused by water surface refraction. Behavior of the Brown Pelican. tall; 210 cm (84 in.) [Splash] Upon impact, the Brown Pelican opens its bill and expands its pouch, trapping small fish inside. Behavior. depth of <15 meters along the shoreline. Upon impact, the Brown Pelican opens its bill and expands its pouch, trapping small fish inside. Gulls will often try to steal fish from the Brown Pelican’s pouch as it drains the water out. Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican is also the smallest of the world’s pelican species. ; These species weigh around 2.75 – 5.5 kg (6.1 – 12 lb). Most Brown Pelicans are diurnal, and hunt for fish during the day. Flies close to the water in straight line. 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