Brown Pelican Photo, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus



Brown pelicans preening.  After wiping its long beak on the uropygial gland near the base of its tail, the pelican spreads the preen oil on feathers about its body, helping to keep them water resistant, an important protection for a bird that spends much of its life diving in the ocean for prey.  Adult winter non-breeding plumage showing white hindneck. La Jolla, California, USA, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, natural history stock photograph, photo id 20089Add To Light Table
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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, California, USA. Image #15122
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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 pelicans preening. After wiping its long beak on the uropygial gland near the base of its tail, the pelican spreads the preen oil on feathers about its body, helping to keep them water resistant, an important protection for a bird that spends much of its life diving in the ocean for prey. Adult winter non-breeding plumage showing white hindneck. La Jolla, California, USA

Stock Photo: 20089  -?- 
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA
Format: Digital 3:2
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, endangered, endangered threatened species, feather, la jolla, la jolla pelicans, mating, occidentalis, pelecanidae, pelecaniform, pelecaniformes, pelecanus, pelecanus occidentalis, pelecanus occidentalis californicus, pelican, plumage, preen, preen gland, preen oil, preening, san diego, seabird, seabird behavior, threatened, uropygial gland, usa, vertebrata, vertebrate

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Updated: May 31, 2020

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