On the way to the park with friends we saw a group of Pelicans basking in the sun. These are Brown Pelicans, the Louisiana state bird. With the recent cold spell we've had here, I am sure these poor chilly birds were thinking they should have kept flying south this year.
Some fun facts about the Pelicans:: (just in case you were curious)
*Brown Pelicans are the smallest Pelican weighing 6-12 pounds with a wingspan of over 40 inches. The largest Pelican is the Dalmatian Pelican and it can weigh over 30 pounds!
*They have to drain the water from their pouch before they can swallow. And sometimes while they drain the water out, gulls steal their catch right out of their mouths!
*Fossils tell us Pelicans have been around for over 40 million years.
*Pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet.
*The Australian Pelican has the longest beak in the world.
*The Brown Pelican is the only Pelican that catches food by diving from the air into the water.
*The Pelican's pouch can hold up to 12 quarts of water!
Here are a few snapshots of the (Immature) Brown Pelicans we saw……
See this one stretching his pouch out?
Aren't they cool? We sure did enjoy watching them for a bit. We wondered why they stretched their pouches out…. maybe because they were cold? Or maybe they do this often….. it was our first close encounter with this guys so we were just amazed by everything they did! And any time four kids ages 7 and under sit entranced watching nature I am just amazed.