The Brown Pelican is a large water bird which primarily inhabits marine coastal areas and rarely occurs inland. It eats mostly fish and other marine invertebrates. It’s different than other pelicans as it spots its prey from above and dives into the water to scoop it up in its large pouch. They will also sit on the surface and gather schooling fish. The pelican doesn’t store any fish in the pouch but once the water has drained will swallow the meal immediately.
The Brown Pelican has a wing span of up to 78 inches (200 cm) and will soar just above the water solo or in groups of more than 20 birds. They seem almost tame and will hang around marinas and fishing piers looking for handouts or discarded fish.
These large birds build loose nests of twigs in short trees or bushes and will sometimes nest right on the ground. They lay 3-4 eggs at a time and are unusual in that they incubate the eggs by standing on them with their large webbed feet.
As an avid fisherman, I always look for pelicans soaring and diving or sitting on the surface. I know that if they have spotted a school of bait fish, larger fish will be a little deeper feeding on the same school.
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