Monday, February 08, 2010

Fun Friday: P is for Pelican

California Brown Pelican
It's Fun Friday again in our Blogging for Fun Group. This Friday we are working on letter P. Since my last post was about coastal birds, I decided to make a post on one of the most conspicuous birds that can be found in the San Diego coast: the California brown pelican. 
Pelican Up Close
The brown pelican is one of the eight species of pelicans. Unlike the white pelicans which I mostly see in the inland lakes of San Diego, the brown pelicans are very much coastal, they mostly stay along the shore. I love watching the brown pelicans do the synchronized dive for fish from the air. In fact, one of the distinction of brown pelicans from the white pelicans is that the brown pelicans group dive for fish from the air, whereas the white pelicans do cooperative fishing from the surface. 
Pelicans in Flight
The brown pelicans have five subspecies, which are:  P. o. californicus (California Brown Pelican) ; P. o. carolinensis (Eastern Brown Pelican) Gmelin, 1789; P. o. occidentalis (Caribbean Brown Pelican) Linnaeus, 1766; P. o. murphy (Pacific Brown Pelican) Wetmore, 1945; P. o. urinator (Galapagos Brown Pelican) Wetmore, 1945
It's a Party!
Where the pelicans are, usually the gulls are also there, a mixed party you would say.
Sea Gull and Pelican
Pelicans and Sea Gulls
Well, the pelicans are fishers, whereas the gulls often try to steal the fish right out of the pouch of pelicans as the pelicans drain the water from its bill after a dive. Sometimes, the gulls would even perch on the pelican's head or back and reach in for the fish. Before, I simply thought that sea gulls simply love and adore the pelicans for their size, but now, I understand better why it seem the gulls love to party with the pelicans. The pelicans, on the other hand, is not above stealing fish from other sea birds. 
Here are some more pictures of California brown pelicans I took over the years here in San Diego.
I wonder what these pelicans think as they watch the kayakers
Have a happy Friday everyone, and a good weekend ahead.
- Betchai-