Creature Feature: Brown Pelican

The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) or Jawurrachi in the Wiyot language, is a charismatic and recognizable seabird in Humboldt county. Brown pelicans often dwarf their seabird neighbors, but are actually the smallest species of pelican on Earth. These birds like to stick close to the shoreline and don’t stray more than 20 miles away from land. Brown pelicans can spot fish in the water from 60-70ft overhead, and will use their characteristic long beak and throat pouch to dive in and scoop up prey. Brown pelicans are beloved by people in coastal regions all over their range. They are the state bird of Louisiana, and are the national bird of Barbados, Turks and Caicos, and other Caribbean islands.

Photos: Tom Benson and Mick Thompson on Flickr
Sources: Wikipedia – Brown Pelican