Miami MetroZoo - PhotoscapeDesign
Powered by SmugMug Log In

Miami MetroZoo (June 1, 2008) Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) [breeding plumage; nonbreeding plumage is a pale yellow head and a white neck] Unique among the world's seven species of pelicans, the Brown Pelican is found along the ocean shores and not on inland lakes. It is the only dark pelican, and also the only one that plunges from the air into the water to catch its food. The sexes look alike with the male being only slightly larger. Shooting for feathers and to "protect" fishing caused declines in pelican populations in the first half of the 20th century. Pesticide poisoning, especially by DDT, caused severe declines across the range in the late 1950's and the extirpation from Louisiana ("the pelican state"). It was listed as Endangered throughout the range in 1970. The ban on DDT led to a population recovery, and it was removed from the Endangered Species list in Atlantic Coast states in 1985. Breeding numbers in most states are stable or increasing, and the total population in the United States now exceeds historical levels.

miamifloridazoosbirdsmiami metrozooZoo Miami