His bill can hold more than his bellican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!
This poem was written by Dixon Lanier Merritt in 1910.
Apparently it is true. The pelican’s bill can hold 3 times as much as its stomach.
We came upon a wonderful pelican wading in the shallow surf at Main Beach. He was hovering around my old friend Col, the wormer, in the hope that a little treat might come his way. Col had quite an audience with the pelican and seagulls.
Pelicans are amazing birds. They have a huge wingspan, up to 3.4 metres, and take off by running across the water to build up speed while flapping their wings.
Australian pelicans are white with black wingtips. They found all over Australia and are the largest of the 8 species of pelicans found worldwide and also have the longest bill. They have leathery blue/grey legs and feet and are most ungainly on land.
Col demonstrated how agile they can be by throwing a fish. The pelican was instantly in the air, caught the fish and with one gulp it was gone.
Col now has a friend for life. As we left the pelican was watching him like a hawk hoping for another tidbit to come flying through the air.
I love the feathers on the back of its head and those remarkable eyes.
I really love my early morning walks on the beach. For more on Col, the amazing wormer, click here.