Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 28/04/2011

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Don’t be fooled by the demure looks you might get from a pelican, they’re not as nice as you may think.

The Eastern Great Pelican consumes a terrific amount of food each day, on average 1.4Kg, however with dwindling fish reserves (it’s staple diet) it has been known to supplement it diet with with other forms of nourishment. I’ve seen these birds envelope young sea birds straight out of the young’s nest, devouring them whole. The sight of a young pelagic bird, still flapping helplessly it the expansive pouch of these large aquatic birds does make you lessen your feelings towards these them (in a purely platonic way of course!) and whilst I still love to photograph them, I’m not fooled by their comedic movements and ungainly appearance beneath that pretty plumage lies a cold hearted killer.

I think I’ve mentioned before that each evening, before embarking on my blog I do a bit of research to check my facts (after all I don’t want to intentionally lie to you yet.. we’re still getting to know each other, that’ll come later), every now and then I turn up a piece of information about the animal that I wasn’t aware of. Today golden nugget has still got me envisaging the process whereby the data was collected in a “Tom and Jerry” type cartoon manner; apparently the feathers of an Eastern Great White Pelican weights more than it’s bones! Go on, admit it, you’ve got the same image of a Pelican embarrassed by it’s nakedness on one side of a scale, whilst all it’s feathers are on the other pan of the scales! You were weren’t you? No? Maybe that’s just the Libran in me.

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