It isn’t the best picture, since it was taken through my screen, but that is a brown pelican on our lake.
He is a recent visitor. We have lived here ten years, and this is the first time I remember a pelican making our lake a place for a daily meal. He comes and hangs out for a while, eats his fill, then moves on.
The only other time I’ve seen pelicans on a freshwater lake was when we lived closer to Pine Island Sound. Around Christmas time we would be graced with huge groups of white pelicans, which are twice the size of brown ones. I loved watching them arrive, as they descended on the water, their wings outstretched like gothic angels. White pelicans swim around in groups and eat by dipping into the water. Sometimes the white guys would line up like a chorus line, dipping and swallowing, dipping and swallowing.
Brown pelicans take dives from the air straight down in the water for their prey. It is said that the diving eventually causes them to go blind. So, is that what is happening with our little brown visitor? He has been seen doing both — diving and dipping. Sometimes I think he may be slightly injured since his flying can sometimes appear erratic.
Survival instinct is strong in every living thing. I am glad if our community lake can keep this guy alive and doing well. I’m thinking he needs a name, but haven’t had one come to mind yet. Any ideas out there?
Note: This was actually published on February 23. I have no idea why it got “unpublished.” I discovered it the next day. I wasn’t slacking!