Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island information guide

Virginia is the northern most state that sustains a year-round population of the Brown Pelican. The Brown Pelican is the only non-white pelican in the world. The most distinguished feature of the pelican is its huge bill and expandable pouch. The bird's height can reach 50 inches and its windspan up to 6 1/2 feet. Their feeding method is spectacular as they plunge headfirst into the water from great heights to catch fish. Their diet depends almost entirely on fish. Pelicans eat about four pounds of fish per day. Groups of pelicans usually fly low over the waves. Their range expands from the coasts of the southern United States to the coasts of northern Brazil and Chile. They are found along both the east and west coasts of the United States. Its habitat includes bays, ocean and sandy coastal beaches and lagoons. The Brown Pelican lays 2-4 eags and nests in colonies. The Brown Pelican was endangered in the 1970s due to pesticides. Successful conservation with strict regulations have led to the recovery of the pelican's population.

Brown Pelican
(Pelecanus occidentalis)

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