This past weekend I did several presentations for Girl Scouts at The Raptor Center. Since the programs was part of earning a merit badge of some sort we were given some subjects that the leaders wanted for us to talk about during our presentations. One thing they wanted us to talk about why birds have different types of beaks and how it effects the type of food that they eat. This worked right into my normal program since I usually talked about the raptors hooked beak, as it is one of three characteristics that make up a raptor. One of the other birds that I used as an example was the pelican. Most people are familiar with how pelicans swim across the water scooping up fish in their pouch style bill.
However the brown pelican is unique. Not only is it the only dark pelican they are also the only pelican that is found only in coastal waters. Although their bill is similar to the American white pelicans pictured above, the pic was taken in Florida in 2006, the brown pelican hunts by flying about 5 feet or so above the water and then diving straight down under the water. There it uses its bill to trap its prey while under the water. I photographed the brown pelican in California in 2007.