Pelicans

Sep 3, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Dixon Lanier Merritt, American humorist wrote: A funny old bird is a pelican. His beak can hold more than his belican. Food for a week He can hold in his beak, But I don’t know the helican.

You’d think that the awkward bill of this bird and brownish feathers would have spared him from plumage hunters. But in mating season, pelicans develop beautiful reddish-brown feathers, which made them a target of poachers, especially at their Florida breeding grounds.  Theodore Roosevelt spent much of his youth with unfettered access to the American Museum of Natural History; his father was a major donor. He said reading On the Origin of the Species changed his way of viewing the world and eventually this, coupled with a posting in Tampa, led to his establishing of the first national wildlife refuge in America, Pelican Island.