Woke up: La Cruz, Mexico
Went to sleep: La Cruz, Mexico
Pelican! Pelican! Pelican!
The Pelican is a very intriguing bird. Of the Pelecanus genus, the pelican is a large water bird and a distant relative of the heron. At six to 35 pounds, the pelican is one of the heaviest flying birds.
Pelicans are very gregarious. They travel together in flocks and hunt in cooperation with one another.
Pelicans are the only known species who will slice their own chest to produce blood to feed their young if necessary. Early Christians used pelicans as a female symbol of Christ who also died to save his children.
I first started noticing the pelicans while watching them fetch dinner. The pelican will soar 20 – 25 feet overhead and then nose dive straight down, directly into the water, at an amazing rate of downward acceleration. It tickles me to watch this behavior.
There are large schools of small bait fish who find relief from the hot sun in the shade under our boat. The pelicans can’t resist fishing in these fertile grounds. Each time one strikes it sounds like a parasailer has crashed into the side of our boat.
Pelicans have taken to hunting from our bow sprit, too, which is not amusing. They perch on the bow waiting patiently for the chance to dive on an unsuspecting fish. It wouldn’t be so bad except while they are waiting there they unload yesterday’s meal which can be the size of a large bull’s turd.
Peter is forever hollering at the pelicans to “get off the bow sprit” as if he could train them like we trained our dog, Dakota. And, every time we see a pelican Peter has to sing out his favorite poem:
A wonderful bird is the Pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But, I’m damned if I see how the helican.