There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Brown Pelican

Pelecanus occidentalis

Very large aerial waterbird
Smallest of the pelicans
Large, grayish bill with an expandable pouch on the bottom
Gray-brown back, rump and tail
Long, broad wings
Short tail
Immature: (above)
   Gray-brown head and neck
   White underparts
Adult:  (right)
   White head and neck
   Blackish-brown breast and belly
   Chestnet on back of neck during breeding
   Reddish on underside of throat during breeding

Listen to its call.

Brown Pelicans are not commonly seen in Victoria. You hear of the odd report now and then but nothing like this year. Sightings of these birds are being reported daily in the vicinity of the Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria. As many as twenty-one were seen by one observer, according to the Rare Bird Alert. I spotted a group of eight of them today between Fisherman's Wharf and Laurel Point. 

Talk of pelicans always reminds me of my mother saying "A funny old bird is a pelican. His beak can hold more than his bellican. Food for a week he can hold in his beak but I don't know how the hellican".

Learn more about the Brown Pelican.

No comments:

Post a Comment