Brown Pelican Photo, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus



Image 20257, Brown pelican head throw.  During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch. La Jolla, California, USA, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus

During winter months California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) adopt striking plumage. The gular pouch (throat) of adults transitions from olive green to bright red. Breeding adults are characterized primarily by a dark brown hindneck, and may also show a yellow patch at the base of the foreneck. Nonbreeding adults retain the white hindneck but, since they also may display a red gular pouch, they are sometimes mistaken for breeders. Head coloration in adults can be white, yellow or a mix of the two, and becomes speckled during molt or chick-feeding.

Brown pelican head throw. During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch. La Jolla, California, USA

Image: 20257
Species: Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
Copyright © Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.


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Updated: April 18, 2014