Presented by Travel Quiz Weekly
A poem (limerick) by Dixon Lanier Merritt
The Pelican is one of the heaviest birds capable of flight. It is strangely proportioned with very short legs for the size of its body. Adults can weigh as much as 10 to 17 pounds (4.5-7.7 kg).
Because of their large bodies and short legs, these birds are far better swimmers than walkers. They have a wing span of 9 feet (2.8 meters).
* Length: 50 inches Wingspan: 110 inches
* Sexes similar
* Huge, white bird with black primaries and outer secondaries
* Flies with neck tucked
* Does not plunge into water from the air, but feeds while swimming
* Long, orange bill with a pouch
* Short orange legs and feet
Pelicans are mostly white, except for black wing tips. Males and females are similar in appearance.The bird’s large, bright orange bill makes this species easy to identify. During the breeding season, both male and female pelicans develop a 3 inch by 3 inch bump on the top of their large beak. This conspicuous growth, which evidently indicates the bird’s interest in breeding, is shed by the end of the breeding season.
The Pelican poem is as follows:
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican. (or belly can)
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican. (or hell he can)
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