Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
Commonly seen inshore and in harbors, the brown pelican is the heaviest sea bird that fishes by plunge-diving. Groups of brown pelicans often fish together, skimming over the waves before rising into the air, folding back their wings, and hitting the water with a spectacular splash. The pelican’s throat pouch balloons outward underwater, scooping up prey, which it then swallows at the surface.
- Order Pelecaniformes
- Length 4–5 ft (1.2–1.6 m)
- Weight 7–10 lb (3.5–4.5 kg)
- Habitat Coastal waters, estuaries, islands
- Distribution Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North and South America, GalÃ¡pagos Islands