Brown pelican was titled as the official state bird of Louisiana in 1966. The official name of Louisiana is “The Pelican State”. The brown pelican appears on the state flag of Louisiana. It also appears on the state seal, the official state painting, and brown pelican is one of three Louisiana symbols shown on the United State mint’s bicentennial quarter. The state bird of Louisiana, Brown Pelican is exceptional among the seven species of pelicans of the world.
It is found along the coastline and not on inner lake areas. Brown pelicans are the only ones that dive from the air into the water to catch fish. The average lifespan of brown pelican is 15-25 years. State
Bird of Louisiana Facts —
- Common name: Brown Pelican
- Scientific name: Pelecanusoccidentalis
- Habitat: they live year-round in estuaries and coastal marine habitats along both the east and west coasts
- Diet: primarily eats small fish including menhaden, mullet, anchovies, herring, sailfin mollies, anchovy, pigfish, pinfish etc.
- Song and Calls: during wing-jerking displays air is forced from their lungs to produce a low, hoarse sound. Nestlings use a shrill, rasping squawk to beg for food.
- Weight: 2000-5000 g
- Length: 100-137 cm
- Wingspan: 200 cm
- Average lifespan: 15-25 years
- Incubation period: 29-35 days
The Louisiana state bird Brown Pelicans like to eating fish. They follow fishing boats, hang around piers and shamelessly steals fish. Pelicans incubate their eggs using their skin of their feet. Generally, they stand on the eggs for keeping them nice and warm. In the middle of the 20th century,pelicans began to lay very thin eggs which cracked under the mere weight of incubating parents because of the pesticide DDT. Pelicans almost disappeared from North America in the 1960s and 1970s.
After that near crisis the Brown Pelicans made a total comeback because of the pesticide code of practice. Peruvian Pelicansare closely related to Brown Pelicans. Those live along the Pacific Coast of South America from southern Ecuador to Chile. Peruvian Pelicans area bit larger than Brown Pelicans. They have beautiful white streak on its bottom part. They also have a blue sack in the season of breeding. These two types are the only pelicans that dive into the water for their diet. When they dive for fish, the Brown Pelican pleats its head and revolves its body to the left. This movement is perhaps to pillow the trachea and esophagus from the impact.
Brown Pelican’s average lifespan is 15-25 years. The oldest recorded Brown Pelican was 43 years old. Louisiana state bird Brown Pelicans typically eat small fish that form the surface of the water. They eat menhaden, mullet, anchovies, herring, and sail fin mollies. A foraging pelican acnes a fish from the air and plunges head-first from as high as 65 feet over the ocean. It tucks and twists to the left to defend its trachea and esophagus from the impact. They infrequently feed by sitting on the surface and grabbing prey with their bills, similar to other pelican species when a thick school of fish is close to the surface and the water is too superficial and muddy to dive. They also take food from other seabirds, forage dead animals, and eat invertebrates such as prawns.
The male protects a nest site and neighboring perches for up to 3 weeks until he entices a mate, and the couple is monogamous throughout the upbringing season. The pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet. If troubled suddenly they fly hurriedly, occasionally crushing their eggs. Pelicans vomit predigested fish onto the nest floor for their babies, later swapping to whole fish once the nestlings are big enough. The babies can fly and tend for themselves after 3 months, but take 3–5 years of age to touch sexual maturity.The law entitling the Brown Pelican as the official Louisiana state bird is Section §159 (State bird) of Louisiana Statutes, Title 49 (State administration), Section RS 49:159.