Today marks the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater-Horizon explosion that caused the largest accidental oil spill in history. There will likely be many retrospectives in the news today recapping the the disaster and it’s affects on the environment. I have no doubt that there will be footage of oiled birds, many of them pelicans, used to help punctuate the severity of the effect that the oil had on wildlife. With that in mind, I wanted to share a photo of a clean, happy, healthy Brown Pelican today.
Brown Pelicans might not be the most beautiful birds and are certainly not the most graceful, but they are unique. As the only dark pelican of seven worldwide species, the Brown Pelican is also one of few birds that incubates their eggs with their feet. They also hold the distinction of the only pelican in the world that dives into the water head-first to catch fish. It turns out that that what I thought was an ordinary shorebird isn’t so ordinary after all.
Days like today remind me to appreciate the beauty of nature and all of the wildlife in it, especially healthy pelicans.
A common bird in Florida, the Brown Pelican can be seen just about anywhere along the coast. Known for awkwardly diving into the ocean headfirst for fish, the Brown Pelican is the only of it’s kind to do so. One of seven species of pelicans in the world, the brown pelican is also unique because it is only found on ocean shorelines and not on inland lakes. They nest in trees in large colonies and do not breed until age three when they receive their breeding plumage as seen in this photo. Brown Pelicans are often found on posts around marinas like these two, photographed along the jetty under the bridge on the Dunedin Causeway in Dunedin, FL.