A Funny Bird Is ...

A Funny Bird Is ...


  • A Funny Bird Is ...

Published Date

  • published 1940


would-be friends, the birds deserted the island in a body; going to two
smaller neighboring islands. This was in 1903-1904. Late in 1904, the
sign on the island was removed. The birds at once returned, built their
nests, and reared their families as though nothing had happened.

There is evidence that when the original pelicans landed on the
island, it was well-grown with mangroves in which most of the birds
built their nests. Low temperatures and high water, perhaps also the
excessive use by the birds, have killed many of the trees so that today
very few remain. The impelling motive which prompts the birds to make
this particular spot their home is evidently stronger than that which
induces them to nest in trees.

Pelican and Patriarch

Brown pelicans in groups make a picturesque sight, sailing
gracefully along, occasionally lazily flapping their wings in unison until a
fish is sighted, at which time they awkwardly dive, striking the water with
a splash, but seldom failing to make a catch. The fish is usually caught
cross-wise in the bill. After the bird comes to rest on the water, the catch
is tossed into the air and re-caught so that the fish lands head first into the
bill. When a fish is caught, the pelican is often beset by man-o-war birds
or by gulls which nimbly steal the first from the pelican's bill. The pelican
offers no resistance but gloomily resumes its fishing. After a gluttonous
meal, the pelican becomes drowsy and sluggish