In Louisiana, which claims the Brown Pelican as its state bird, no nesting pairs were found by 1961. Brown Pelicans can hold 3 gallons of water (and fish!) The Brown Pelican has made a great comeback in Louisiana, and currently, 11,000 pairs of Brown Pelicans breed there. By 1963, every last pelican had vanished. They have long bow-shaped wings that can reach up to 6 feet in length. Brown Pelicans warm their eggs with their feet, essentially standing on the egg to keep it warm. All pelicans must learn the kamikaze technique of diving for fish from great heights in order to survive. Before the first use of DDT, in 1945, as many as 85,000 brown pelicans nested on the shores of the Pelican State, as Louisiana is known. Pollution from these pesticides, particularly DDT, wreaked havoc on many different ecosystems. Pelicans scoop up the fish into the largest throat pouch of any bird in the world (capacity: 2.5 gallons). The brown pelican is a large water bird with an oversized bill, long neck, webbed feet and a large, gray-brown body. Air sacs beneath the skin on their breasts act like cushions. Brown Pelicans were delisted from the endangered species list in 2009. Also, while diving, a pelican rotates its body ever so slightly to the left. The Brown Pelican was removed from the endangered species list in 2009. Immature birds are darker than adults, appearing chocolate-brown all over. Impertinent seagulls often steal the fish, even perching on the pelicans’ heads to do so. Pesticide Problem – In the 1940s, humans developed a number of new pesticides, including the pesticide DDT. Brown Pelicans, Pelecanus occidentalis, are large stocky birds with long thin necks and a stretchy throat pouch. They can reach a height of 4 feet tall. in their pouch. In 1968 Louisiana embarked on an ambitious 12-year reintroduction plan. (Scroll down to see a pretty incredible slo-mo video of brown pelicans plunge-diving.) Typically they arrive in summer, mostly hatch-year birds from nesting colonies in the Channel Islands and Mexico. Florida, Texas and California all listed the pelican as “endangered’. The aviary that houses Red can have as many as 100 convalescing brown pelicans at a time. The California Brown Pelican represents a species of special interest to Bird Rescue. Brown Pelicans can be spotted flying just above the sea or bay, rising and falling with the waves in search of a tasty meal of small fish. By 1985, Brown Pelicans were removed from the Endangered Species List for the eastern U.S. and ten years later the Brown Pelican was declared “recovered” in Louisiana. By 1975, DDT was banned and the first Brown Pelican egg to hatch successfully in captivity was the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, Florida. Several adaptations protect Brown Pelicans as they dive, sometimes from as high as 60 feet. Brown pelicans’ bodies are grey-brown in color. 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