Tuesday, July 31, 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Seabirds, Brown Pelican

San Francisco Bay Area Birdwatching
SeaBirds of Marin, SF Bay and Gulf of the Farallones

Brown Pelicans

Brown Pelicans Scientific classification
  • Brown Pelicans Kingdom: Animalia
  • Brown Pelicans Phylum: Chordata
  • Brown Pelicans Class: Aves
  • Brown Pelicans Order: Pelecaniformes
  • Brown Pelicans Family: Pelecanidae
  • Brown Pelicans Genus: Pelecanus
  • Brown Pelicans Species: P. occidentalis
Brown Pelicans Binomial name
  • Pelecanus occidentalis
Where to Find the Brown Pelican in the San Francisco Bay Area:
The Brown Pelican is common on the Bay from Alcatraz to flying over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands.
The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 106-137 cm (42-54 in) in length, weighs from 2.75 to 5.5 kg (6-12 lb) and has a wingspan from 1.83 to 2.5 m (6 to 8.2 ft).
Other Information:
It lives strictly on coasts from Washington and Virginia south to northern Chile and the mouth of the Amazon River, as well as the island of Saut d'Eau in Trinidad and Tobago. Some immature birds may stray to inland freshwater lakes. After nesting, North American birds move in flocks further north along the coasts, returning to warmer waters for winter. Their young are hatched in broods of about 3, and eat around 150 lbs. of fish in the 8-10 month period they are cared for.


Brown Pelicans, Southeast Farallon Island
Sticking the neck up helps the fish go down.

Brown Pelican In Flight

SF Bay Digital Images. All Rights Reserved.

List of San Francisco Bay and Close Surrounding Area SeaBirds:

  • Parasitic Jaeger
  • Pomarine Jaeger
  • Long-Tailed Jaeger
  • South Polar Skua
  • Bonaparte's Gull
  • California Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Glaucous-winged Gull
  • Western Gull
  • Heerman's gull
  • Sabine'sg gull
  • Black-Legged Kittiwake
  • Elegant Tern
  • Common Tern
  • Artic Tern
  • Caspian Tern
  • Forster's Tern
  • Rhinoceros auklet
  • Common Murre
  • Cassin's Auklet
  • Pigeon Guillimot
  • Tufted Puffin
  • Ancient Murrelet
  • Marbled Murrelet
  • Xantus's Murrelet
  • Laysan Albatross
  • Black Footed Albatross
  • Buller's Shearwater
  • Northern Fulmar
  • Pink-footed Shearwater
  • Black-vented Shearwater
  • Sooty Shearwater
  • Flesh-Footed Shearwater
  • Short-Tailed Shearwater
  • Leach's Storm-Petrel
  • Ashy Storm-Petrel

  • Brown Pelican
  • Brandt's Cormorant
  • Pelegic Cormorant
  • Double-Crested Cormorant
  • Greater Scaup
  • Surf Scoter
  • Red-Breasted Merganser
  • Black Oyster Catcher
  • Red Phhalarope
  • Red-necked Phalarope
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy White Egret
  • Common Loon or Great Northern diver (Gavia immer), This is the Loon most often seen wintering on the San Francisco Bay
  • These are Loons that winter in California and are Occaisonnally seen in this area:
  • Red-throated loon or Red-throated diver (G. stellata)
  • Yellow-billed loon or White-billed diver (G. adamsii)
  • Pacific loon (G. pacifica), known as black-throated divers
  • Arctic loon (G. arctica), known as black-throated divers
  • Western Grebe

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