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Pelecanus occidentalis


Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Pelecanifornes
Family Pelecanidae
Genus Pelecanus
Species occidentalis
Common Name Brown Pelican

juvenile pelican This is another slide show of a juvenile pelican.

The slides in these QuickTime videos were taken by Pam Birley see selected stills below. Click above if image does not start.

Inpelicans and tower Late September to mid October of 1997, Brown Pelicans were sighted roosting on George Point, just North of the reserve on Bentinck Island, and at Race Rocks in the eastern entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This group was filmed one afternoon from the Pearson College dive boat. Note, they had a habit of stretching their necks up vertically. The group stayed in the Race Rocks area for several weeks that fall. This is a rare event to have these birds this far North but the records from the daily water samples taken at Race Rocks in October and November of 1997 indicate the highest water temperatures since records wPelicansere first made in 1927 and the lowest salinities since the first records in 1936. Another pair of Pelicans was observed in early November of 2001 by the Race Rocks Guardians. Noting the Brown Pelican's "graceful glide" and dextrous use of its bill - which functions both as a dip net and cooling mechanism, it has been described as one of the most interesting of the North American birds. In recent years,
the pelican numbers have increased with sightings reported sporadically at Race Rocks. Its habitat is coastal islands on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of North, Central and South America.

pelicanus pelicanus pelicanus pelican
Another sighting of Pelicans at Race Rocks. They were perched on the middle rock.The brown heads indicate these are immature individuals. Photos by Lucia, PC yr 33
September 7, 2006
Pam Birley caught this image on Cam 5 from the SE corner on Nov.4, 2006 and we observed several on middle island on September 28 as well.

brown pelican Brown Pelican adult and cormorant brown pelican adult
brown pelican brown pelican brown pelican
This incredible set of photos was taken on the remote camera 5 on the afternoon of November 10, 2006 by Pam Birley Note the white head, typical of a mature adult. You can see the relative size to the cormorant in the above photo. The slide show above shows all 72 pictures taken in a short period of time in one afternoon. This sighting takes place one week after the first hard rain of the winter, with warm temperatures brought in from the Pacific by the "pineapple express"
pelican dec 19 pelican Nov24 2009 pelican Nov24 2009
Dec 19, 2006. this pelican was sighted again on the south side of RR. Photo by Pam Birley from Remote camera 5 at Race Rocks.
On November 29, 2006 we had a large downfall of snow which lasted for several days with cold winds from the north-east.
This adult pelican was photographed by Pam on the south west corner of the island from remote camera 5. 

"Other pictures and records of different dates in other years for Pelicans can be seen on Pam Birley's Flickr site.
banded pelican pelican Nov24 2009
Flyby Photo by Ryan Murphy--October 19, 2009 Lonely Pelican in a sea of Larus,
Photo by Ryan Murphy-- November 24, 2009

pelican May12 2010 r36 pelican Nov12 2012
"Brown Pelicans are becoming a common sight at Race Rocks. May 12, 2010: This past December I recorded the latest observation for this species in the area, and they have returned early this year. This adult bird (note the white head) spent the evening on the SW corner of Great Race Island before being chased off by the gulls. Had there been gull hatchlings around, there would have been more intense interactions between the two species! This bird left the island and flew SE towards Port Angeles at sunset." Ryan Murphy See the Log for November, 2012 for photos and observations by Mike Robinson of banded Pelicans at Race Rocks

Pam has also recorded the pelicans at Race Rocks in November 2012

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty, staff and volunteers  of Lester B. Pearson College Dec. 2001 Adil D'Sousa, PC yr. 27

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