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Taken 16-Mar-13
Visitors 82
11 of 137 photos

In the Footsteps of the Pterodactyl

Large and graceful in flight, the characteristic profile of the Brown Pelican is an unmistakable favorite on both coasts in Costa Rica. Flocks of these birds often fly in line or V-formation, flapping and gliding synchronously over the water. With long wings and necks, a large straight bill and an enormous gular pouch for swallowing fish, the pelican has a distinct profile, matching its distinct behavior. It is common along coastal waters, to see the Brown Pelican elegantly soaring and abruptly plunge-diving for fish from up to 10 m in the air. The Brown Pelican has air sacs in the chest to absorb the impact of the water, and uses its gular pouch to scoop fish that are near the surface. This bird may also take scraps from fishing areas and follow fishing boats for waste.