followed by the first light-brown plumage on the back. When fully
grown, the birds are brownish-gray on top, darker on the wings and
Learning To Eat
"He can store in his beak
Enough for a week. . . . . . ."
Newly-hatched pelicans are fed on regurgitated, or partly
digested food. By this method of regurgitation the parent bird brings the
food back into its pouch, from which it flows to the bill when tilted
down. Here it can be reached by the almost helpless young. As the birds
grow stronger, they are fed food which is less digested and are made to
reach farther and farther back into the parent's bill. Finally they are
compelled to thrust their whole heads down the parent's throat, feeding
directly out of the pouch.
Frequently two or three have been noticed eating in this manner
at the same time, struggling and squawking and to all appearances in the
process of being swallowed by the parent. Sometimes a younger bird
attempts to swallow too large a fish and is prevented from choking by
the parent, which thrusts its bill tip down the throat of the choking young
one and quickly yanks out the fish.
When an older bird returns to the colony with a well-filled pouch,
it is often besieged by a crowd of hungry young from other nests which
attempt to secure the result of the