most violent reaction as the bird, arising to its feet, grasps its wing,
waves its head and behaves in the same crazy way as the bird which has
been denied a meal. Possibly this amazing exercise may aid the bird in
swallowing, when the same exhibition after the bird has attempted and
failed to get a meal, should be considered the result of suggestion."
In Florida the pelican is now protected by law. Pelican Island, a
muddy island of about four acres, in the Halifax River, opposite Port
Orange, has been set aside by the Government as a Federal sanctuary for
this bird and here the habits of thousands of pelicans may be studied.
Prior to passing the present bird-protecting laws, pelicans were
killed in great numbers; many for their wing quills which was used by
milliners; some just for sport, while many others were slaughtered by
fishermen who felt they were being deprived of good fishing by these
In attempting to obtain this island from the Government, so much
red tape was encountered that the case was presented to President
Theodore Roosevelt, who promptly designed the place a Federal reserve.
A warden was appointed by the Audubon Society with authority to
prevent trespass on the island. He erected a large sign proclaiming the
inhabitants to be wards of the Government.
When it appeared that the future safety of the pelicans in this area
was assured, to the surprise and disgust of their