Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
The smallest of the eight species of pelican, adult brown pelicans have a grayish-brown body with a darker underbelly and white head and neck. During breeding season the back part of the neck becomes deep chestnut and a yellow patch appears at the base of the front of the neck. Eyes are very light blue with pink eyerings. A plunge diver, this pelican uses its bill and pouch like a net to scoop up fish and water. It strains out the water from the side of its bill and then swallows the fish. Considered to be very long-lived, one brown pelican captured in Edgewater, Florida, had been banded over 31 years previously. Photographed in Citrus County, Florida.