The Brown Pelican

Out on the Dry Tortugas, the bird watching is phenomenal and famous. Bird lovers travel from all over the world travel to the Dry Tortugas with their binoculars to try to spot some of the hundreds of bird species that either make their home on the islands or migrate through the islands every year. The Brown Pelican is one of these birds and one of the most easily distinguished. It's not hard to spot pelicans throughout the Southwest United States, but the Brown Pelican is the only one you will be able to spot out on the ocean. Unlike the other species of pelican, the Brown Pelican is the only one that does not make its home on inland lakes, opting instead for the great big ocean and ocean shores.

Most mature Brown Pelicans have ashy brown wings and a white neck. Their head is white in the back with a touch of yellow on their forehead and their eyes surrounded black. They have an elongated bill with an extensible pouch that holds the fish they catch. As far as their size goes, they usually measure between 100 and 137 centimeters in length and they have a 200 centimeter wingspan.

Brown Pelicans typically catch their prey by swimming close to the water and then diving in and catching a fish, or several fish, whole. They either store the fish in their bill or eat it right up. If you are out on the Dry Tortugas and keep an eye out on the open ocean (preferably using binoculars) to see these birds soaring close to the ocean.