Bird Week – Day Four: More Pelican Poetry

“A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?”

― Dixon Lanier Merritt

(Click on a pic to open in a new window and click again for full detail 🙂 )

lovewillbringustogether - Australian Pelican7
Shot showing the gular pouch as it is contracting from full expansion

A pelican’s bill does have a larger capacity than its stomach. A pelican’s stomach can hold up to 1 gallon (3.79 liters), while its pouch can hold up to 3 gallons (11.36 liters). That adds up to the equivalent of 8 pounds (3.63 kilograms) in the stomach and about 24 pounds (10.89 kilograms) in the pouch. While a pelican might technically be able to take enough food in its bill for a week, it doesn’t store food there. If it catches more fish than it can eat at one time, the excess is stored in the pelican’s esophagus.


lovewillbringustogether - Australian Pelican2 This Australian Pelican has one of the largest beaks of any bird member of the animal kingdom. This one is certainly more than half a metre (18 in) long, notice the hook at the tip to help him hold onto the slipperier fish he catches. You can see his bright yellow round eyepatch, a distinctive feature of this very elegant bird. 😉

lovewillbringustogether - australasian grebe14At the other end of the scale this tiny Australasian Grebe almost seems to be hovering in the air above the reflections of reeds in the clean water… the yellow leaf enhances the effect. Are you sure if it is floating on water or is it just about to fall onto the surface 🙂

lovewillbringustogether - Spoonbill3Another shot of ‘Bill’. 🙂

More to come… Day Five. 🙂

Previous Pelican Posts:

Day Three

Day Two

Day One   (No Pelicans!)




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