Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis



Brown pelican.  This large seabird has a wingspan over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, due largely to predation in the early 1900s and to decades of poor reproduction caused by DDT poisoning.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage with brown neck, yellow and white head and bright red gular throat pouch. La Jolla, USA, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, natural history stock photograph, photo id 15123Add To Light Table
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More Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus:

Brown pelican in flight.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage. La Jolla, USA. Image #15122
Brown pelican in flight, spreading wings wide to slow in anticipation of landing on seacliffs. La Jolla, California, USA. Image #28333
California Brown Pelican head throw, stretching its throat to keep it flexible and healthy. La Jolla, USA. Image #28347
California Brown Pelican head throw, stretching its throat to keep it flexible and healthy. Note the winter mating plumage, olive and red throat, yellow head. La Jolla, USA. Image #30336
Brown pelican in flight, softly lit by flash against pink predawn sky. La Jolla, California, USA. Image #28346
California Pelican flying on a wave, riding the updraft from the wave. Image #30257
Brown pelican in flight. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status. In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage. La Jolla, USA. Image #28328
Brown pelican in flight. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status. In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage. La Jolla, USA. Image #28959
Brown pelican flying over waves and the surf. La Jolla, California, USA. Image #30199
A brown pelican preening, reaching with its beak to the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of its tail. Preen oil from the uropygial gland is spread by the pelican's beak and back of its head to all other feathers on the pelican, helping to keep them water resistant and dry. La Jolla, California, USA. Image #30326

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. This large seabird has a wingspan over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, due largely to predation in the early 1900s and to decades of poor reproduction caused by DDT poisoning. In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage with brown neck, yellow and white head and bright red gular throat pouch. La Jolla, USA

Stock Photo: 15123
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
Format: Digital 2:3
Copyright © Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.
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Keywords: adult, animal, animalia, aves, bird, breeding, brown pelican, california, california brown pelican, chordata, coloration, creature, endangered, endangered threatened species, feather, la jolla, la jolla pelicans, mating, nature, occidentalis, pelecanidae, pelecaniform, pelecaniformes, pelecanus, pelecanus occidentalis, pelecanus occidentalis californicus, pelican, pelicanidae, plumage, san diego, seabird, threatened, usa, vertebrata, vertebrate, wildlife

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Updated: July 15, 2020

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