A wonderful bird is the pelican...
“A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I'll be darned if I know how the hellican?”
By Dixon Lanier Merritt
The "Dog Days" of summer officially came to an end this past week, but few people know what the expression really means. The phrase actually has a celestial origin. Some will say that summer's "Dog Days" signify hot sultry days "not fit for a dog," while others suggest it is the weather in which dogs go mad. The “Dog Days” are based in astronomy. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days: the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Regardless of what you believe, this Florida resident is ready for cooler weather.
In the meantime, the Brown Pelican colony baby hatching is in full swing. I can’t believe how much they have grown in just two weeks. The chicks have gone from bald pink/brown to fuzzy white little pelican babies. Several of the nests have two chicks (baby pelicans are indeed called chicks). The chick I named “Bradford” is really getting big. Brown Pelicans usually nest in mangrove islet swamps and trees and rarely do they nest on sand dunes like we have seen. I assume the lack of secure mangrove swamps made them want to nest in these dunes. There is ample vegetation and cactus to provide protection. The male Brown Pelican choses the nest site and the female builds the nest of sticks and shrub. They incubate the eggs with their feet. From the time the chicks hatch to fledging can be 77-84 days. Brown Pelicans fish from a diving position. Per the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology “A foraging pelican spots a fish from the air and dives head-first from as high as 65 feet over the ocean, tucking and twisting to the left to protect its trachea and esophagus from the impact. As it plunges into the water, its throat pouch expands to trap the fish, filling with up to 2.6 gallons of water. “The oldest recorded Brown Pelican was 43 years old.
Pelicans are mentioned five times in the bible. These young pelican chicks have a full life ahead of them hopefully. Hope you enjoy the beauty of this small bit of bird creation. Blessings.