An unmistakable bird of coastal waters, famous for its huge bill with expandable pouch. Groups of Brown Pelicans fly low over the waves in single file, flapping and gliding in unison. Their feeding is spectacular, as they plunge headlong into water in pursuit of fish. Current abundance of this species represents a success for conservationists, who succeeded in halting the use of DDT and other persistent pesticides here; as recently as the early 1970s, Brown Pelican was seriously endangered.

Field Marks - A ponderous dark water bird; adult has much white about the head and neck. Immature has a dark head, whitish underparts. Size, shape, and flight (a few flaps and a glide) indicate a pelican; the dark color and habit of plunging bill-first into water proclaim it as this species.

Feeding: Nesting: Conservation - Declined drastically in mid-20th century, as pesticides caused eggshell thinning and failure of breeding. After banning of DDT, the species made a strong recovery; now common and increasing on southeast and west coasts.

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