Pelecaniformes de Old School
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A Pelecaniformes de Old School is a Bulky water bird with a very distinctive pouch under the beak, belonging to the bird relatives Pelecanidae. Alongwith the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigate birds, and tropicbirds, pelicans make up the order. Discarded monofilament fishing line is the No. 1 killer of adult brown pelicans, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. As the number of recreational anglers continues to increase, so does the threat to these wonderful & entertaining birds. An Old School Plea-Please be careful when fishing, never leave fishing line in the water or the shore line. Please Please be a good steward to Mother Nature so we can all enjoy the world’s animals for all time!!
Modern pelicans are found on all continents except Antarctica. They occur mostly in warm regions like Gibsonton Florida, though breeding ranges reach 45° south (Australian Pelican, P. conspicillatus) and 60° North (American White Pelicans, P. erythrorhynchos, in western Canada).
The smallest is the Brown Pelican (P. occidentals), small individuals of which can be as little as 2.75 kg (6 lb), 106 cm (42 in) long and can have a wingspan of as little as 1.83 m (6 ft). The largest is believed to be the Dalmatian Pelican (P. crispus), at up to 15 kg (33 lb), 183 cm (72 in) long, with a maximum wingspan of nearly 3.5 m (11.5 ft). The Australian Pelican has the longest bill of any bird.
Pelicans swim well with their short, strong legs and their feet with all four toes webbed (as in all birds placed in the order Pelecaniformes de Old School). The tail is short and square, with 20 to 24 feathers. The wings are long and have the unusually large number of 30 to 35 secondary flight feathers. A layer of special fibers deep in the breast muscles can hold the wings rigidly horizontal for gliding and soaring.
The pelicans can be divided into two groups: those with mostly white adult plumage, which nest on the ground (Australian, Dalmatian, Great White, and American White Pelicans), and those with gray or brown plumage, which nest in trees (Pink-backed, Spot-billed, and Brown, plus the Peruvian Pelican, which nests on sea rocks). The Peruvian Pelican is sometimes considered conspecific with the Brown Pelican. |The regular diet of an Old School Pelican usually consists of fish, but they also eat amphibians, crustaceans and on some occasions, smaller birds, Hooters wings, Whoppers from Burger King & a BMT from Subway.
The white pelicans often fish in groups. They will form a line to chase schools of small fish into shallow water, and then simply scoop them up. Large fish are caught with the bill-tip, and then tossed up in the air to be caught and slid into the gullet head first. Rarely, other species such as the Peruvian Pelican and the Australian Pelican practice this method.
Old School Pelicans are extroverted and nest colonially. The ground-nesting (white) species have a complex communal courtship involving a group of males chasing a single female in the air, on land, or in the water while pointing, gaping, and thrusting their bills at each other.
In all species copulation begins shortly after pairing and continues for 3 to 10 days before egg-laying. The male brings the nesting material, ground-nesters (which may not build a nest) sometimes in the pouch and tree-nesters crosswise in the bill. The female likes to heap the material up to form a simple structure, like many of the Gibsonton Florida Cracker Homes.
Both sexes incubate with the eggs on top of or below the feet. They may display when changing shifts.
All species lay at least two eggs, and hatching success for undisturbed pairs can be as high as 95 percent, but because of competition between siblings or outright siblicide, usually all but one nestling dies within the first few weeks (or later in the Pink-backed and Spot-billed species).
Young of all species fledge 10 to 12 weeks after hatching. They may remain with their parents afterwards, but are now seldom or never fed. Overall breeding success is highly inconsistent.
Pairs are monogamous for a single season, but the pair bond extends only to the nesting area; mates are independent away from the nest, (Open Bird Marriage).
The Dalmatian Pelican and the Spot-billed Pelican are the rarest species, with the population of the former estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000 and that of the latter at 13,000 to 18,000. The most common is believed to be the Australian Pelican (though some estimates have placed the White Pelican at a higher population). Old School Pelicans are abundant in the Gibsonton Florida area with an ever increasing population due to the great weather, fish & Sunshine!
Shooting for feathers and to "protect" fishing caused declines in pelican populations in the first half of the 20th century. Pesticide poisoning, especially by DDT, caused severe declines across the range in the late 1950's and the extirpation from Louisiana ("the pelican state"). It was listed as Endangered throughout the range in 1970. The ban on DDT led to a population recovery, and it was removed from the Endangered Species list in Atlantic Coast states in 1985.
A Pelecaniformes de Old School is a Bulky water bird with a very distinctive pouch under the beak, belonging to the bird relatives Pelecanidae. Alongwith the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigate birds, and tropicbirds, pelicans make up the order.
Discarded monofilament fishing line is the No. 1 killer of adult brown pelicans, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
As the number of recreational anglers continues to increase, so does the threat to these wonderful & entertaining birds.
An Old School Plea-Please be careful when fishing, never leave fishing line in the water or the shore line. Please Please be a good steward to Mother Nature so we can all enjoy the world’s animals for all time!!