The Everglades

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican picture

The Brown Pelican is a medium-sized salt-water bird with webbed feet. When he walks, he wobbles. This pelican is really not all brown. Around its neck it is gold with a silver stripe. Its beak is long with a pouch underneath and it has no teeth.

The Brown Pelican eats fish which it catches by diving into the water and catching in its pouch. In order to swallow the fish it must put its head up and straighten its neck so that the entire fish will slide down its throat.

Brown Pelicans build their nest near the water to be near their food supply. When a baby pelican hatches they don't open their eyes for one or two days. They are not very attractive because their skin in wrinkled and they have no feathers. The parents must feed and care for their helpless babies. After five weeks they grow feathers and begin to learn to fly. When they learn how to fly, they can get their own food.

The Brown Pelican has no real enemies except maybe the alligator, if they happen to be fishing in the same area. Their real enemy is man, who has been destroying their habitat, or leaving trash like plastic and fishlines, where they live, in the ocean. Mercury poisoning which is in the fish they eat have caused loss of eggs when the shells are too soft to be hatched.

The Brown Pelican lives in the mangrove swamp habitat.

Erica B.

Avocado Elementary

Produced by students and
teachers at Avocado Elementary

 Miami Museum of Science

 Museum of Science, Inc./Science Learning Network
 Science Learning Network

 ©1997 Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, Florida)