Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet the Florida brown Pelican

If you have been on one of our cruises or visited any of our beautiful beaches you have seen our brown Pelicans, flying or diving for fish.  The Pelican, also called the American or common pelican inhabits the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coast of both North and South America.  The brown pelican, while measuring up to 54 inches long, with a wing span between 6 ½ and 7 ½ long are the smallest of the seven species of Pelicans.  Brown pelicans are completely at home in the water.  Even young pelicans barely able to fly, can swim 3 m.p.h.! 
Pelicans are primarily fish eaters.  They enjoy herring, sheepshead, mullet, and menhaden.  They consume about 4 pounds a day.  They have keen eye sight and can spot fish from heights as much as 70 feet in the air.  Once they locate their prey, they will dive into the water and come up with a mouthful of fish.  The air sacs beneath their skin not only soften the impact of the dive but also help the Pelican to surface.  
The Pelican is a social member of flocks which is made up of males, females and juveniles.  They will breed between ages 3 and 5 years.  They will nest in tree tops, bushes or shallow ground.   The male will deliver nesting materials to the female who will build the nest.  She will typically lay 2 to 3 eggs, chalky in color which will hatch in about 30 days.  Both parents will share in the incubating process. 
The Pelican has a long life span.  In fact, there is a record of one that was banded 31 years earlier!

Just come to our marina when our fisherman docks after their charters.  The Pelicans wait just in hopes to get a little leftovers! #swflorida #pelican #loveflorida #swflattractions #nature #boating #sightseeing #gulfofmexico #cruisingnaples #naplesbay