Learn about the brown pelican * and why falling sardine populations might enter trouble for this plucky bird.

Despite its hefty throat pouch and waddling style, the brown pelican may glide through the atmosphere with grace. This unique bird has also were able to forge a passage over the troubled marine environments of its past, owning recovered from near-extinction while in the 1960s.  

Habitat: along the southeast coasts of the US, such as the Atlantic, Gulf, in addition to Pacific.


  • The oldest taped pelican lived to the ripe old age of Forty three years old.
  • Gulls have been recognized by poach the pelicans’ prey. A sneaky gulls wait until a new pelican is draining drinking water from its bill well before snatching the fish from its pouch. To incorporate insult to trauma, gulls sometimes perch on the pelican’ersus head beforehand.
  • Like the opposite seven species of pelican, your brown variety has the bulging case for which pelicans are well well-known. This pouch allows them to trap fish and depletion water with ease.
  • Along having a Peruvian cousin, the brown leafy pelican is one of only two sorts of pelican that plunge-dive to stun in addition to grab fish.
  • When fishing, a brown pelican swivels its body to the left while tucking its brain. Not only graceful, this tactic is thought to protect parts on the right facet of the bird’s throat from impact together with the water.

Why they’re threatened

Like the particular nene goose, brown pelicans have a fabled history. Their numbers dipped into confronted territory thanks in part to pesticide run-off, which contaminated a fish they try to eat. As a result, pelicans laid offspring with shells which were too thin to assist the chicks increasing inside.

Things were searching for, however, after the 1974 ban of the pesticide DDT. By 2016, all brown lightly pelican populations had been removed from the endangered variety list (hurrah!).

More recently, however, sinking sardine populations on the West Coast can make it hard for the staying brown pelicans to find nutrition. The 2016 Northwest survey by Oregon Seacoast National Wildlife estimations that the number of brownish pelicans has dropped for their lowest since 1999.