Though it uses its throat pouch as other pelicans do in shallow water, the brown pelican is one of two species of pelicans that regularly dive for fish. Upon spotting a fish, it flies up to a height of up to 30m before folding back its wings and plunging into the sea to catch it. The air sacs under the skin that give pelicans their buoyancy in water help cushion the impact with the water.
As you stroll down the boardwalk for a sweeping view of the lake in its entirety, you may notice masses of twigs found in the middle of the Pelican Cove island. These are the communal nests of the pelicans and built by the pelicans themselves. During the breeding season, the birds can be observed collecting branches and other nesting material to spruce up their nests.
In anticipation, the Dalmatian spreads its wings, which can grow to a magnificent 3m. The Australian opens its enormous
beak, which, at a length of 40-50cm, is the biggest beak of all birds.
Even before the commentator speaks into the mike, our pelicans are all primed for the daily chit-chat sessions at the Cove. Do keep your eyes peeled, amidst the swooshing of wings and clashing of beaks in the ensuing feeding frenzy, for the spectacular dives of the brown pelicans.
Learn more about our wildlife from the people who know best – the keepers. In this interactive session, hear interesting quirks of the animals from our keepers.