breadcrumb Field Guide: Food Web - Animals: Brown Pelican

Food Web

Animals: Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

The brown pelican has an enormous bill and expandable throat pouch to catch fish under water. The brown pelican captures its prey by way of a spectacular head-first dive in the water from considerable heights.

At one time, the numbers of brown pelicans were very low because of the overuse of pesticides, such as DDT. These pesticides reached the ocean in contaminated runoff water and then were absorbed by fish. When the pesticide-laden fish were eaten by pelicans, the pelicans’ eggs were affected and were too thin to produce healthy chicks. The brown pelican is making a comeback, but they are still considered endangered.

Brown Pelican

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