While birds are pretty darn fascinating to watch, there is no bird like a Brown Pelican for entertainment. I don’t know what it is about watching their repetitive pattern of rising over the water, nearly hovering as they reposition their bodies for a dive, and their sudden transformation from giant seabird to giant feathered jart as they dive, leaving behind a splash that probably wouldn’t get them a gold medal if this were the Olympic diving competition. But, I could watch them perform this dance between feast and famine over and over again.
On the Washington side of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which, if I were inclined to bet, I would bet is called “Megler,” we found a park where we could sit and watch the Brown Pelicans in their unique approach to dinner. It’s amazing to me that such a large bird can so completely disappear under the water for several seconds after diving head first after a fish. I feel certain the military could learn a lot from these birds.
The Brown Pelican is, in fact, the only pelican who dives from the air after its prey. If I were a White Pelican and I watched the Brown Pelicans I shared my territory with snatching up fish from below the surface of the water this way, I would probably want to give it a try–it looks awfully fun.