Photo: brown and white pelicans at the Bronx Zoo
October 16, 2007
For these Bronx Zoo flamingos, the mantra “you are what you eat” really rings true.
Colorful autumn leaves are starting to fall but they don’t dampen the sunny disposition of these brown and white pelicans at the Bronx Zoo.
Photo taken Monday, September 10, 2007 by Julie Larsen Maher. © WCS
The pelican’s most recognizable feature is its expandable, skin pouch used to scoop food out of the water. Their diets in nature consist mainly of fish, but they are also opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of small aquatic animals including crustaceans, tadpoles, and turtles. At the Bronx Zoo, pelicans are served herring, capelin, and whitebait.
While brown pelicans are the smallest species of this bird, American white’s can have a wingspan of over nine feet.
Pelicans can be found on all continents except for Antarctica.
Visitors can see these birds on a pond behind the Bronx Zoo’s Children’s Zoo. All the zoo’s pelicans are rehab birds, meaning they have been rescued from injury or abandonment.