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Pelican Pleasure - Bird Dining in Huntington Beach California
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Huntington Beach is a birder's delight. From Talbert Marsh to  Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, an 8 mile span of bird watching includes observation of rare and endangered migratory birds and locals such as this pelican feeding on a bounty of fish. The pelican was seen feeding at Lake Huntington in Central Park.

About Pelicans

Pelicans are huge birds ranging in size to almost 6 ft. in length with wing spans up to 11 ft. Pelican legs are short, their necks long, and their feet have all four toes webbed to aid in swimming. They can be found on all continents except for Antarctica and have been in existence almost 40 millions years!

Brown Pelicans and the Peruvian Pelicans dive for their meals. The pelican uses its pouch on the bottom bill, as a fisherman uses a net, to scoop in the fish. This lower bill, when not scooping or holding fish, is long and narrow with a hook on the end. However when fishing, the pelican's bill stretches out to scoop up his prey. The pelican tips its bill forward to drain off the water and then gulp down its meal.

All of the other six species of pelicans skim fish from the water as they swim along, using the bill as a fish net. Many times groups of pelicans will fish together, forming a V-shape in the water, herding schools of fish to shallow water where the pelicans can feed on the fish more easily.

Young pelicans are born without feathers but soon grow a down coat. Parents swallow the fish before eating. To feed their young birds, they open their mouths wide so that the young reach way down their throats to their gullet (not the pouch) to get the food.

Types of Pelicans

American White Pelican
Australian Pelican
Brown Pelican
Dalmation Pelican
Eastern (Great White) Pelican
Peruvian Pelican
Pink Backed Pelican
Spot Billed Pelican

About the photographer: Debbie Stock is an award winning photographer, webmaster and press/public relations professional in Huntington Beach, California. She has provided photos to State of California Visitor Guides, six Huntington Beach Visitor Guides and calendars, postcards, brochures, newspapers, magazines and more. Her most recent credit is an international award for her team efforts in building the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau website, which she worked on for two years. You can contact her at 714.847.3277 or send mail to California Travel News, PO Box 947, Sunset Beach, CA 90742