The Pelicans are Here at Seal Rocks

Yesterday and again today, I saw 2 or 3 dozen Brown Pelicans, Pelecanus occidentalis, on the large rock on the south end of Seal Rock State Park. The sky was breaking with blue and, as I walked north, I saw pelicans on Elephant Rock at the north end of the park. It felt like a gift to see them; they are my favorite seabird. It is my understanding that the Brown Pelican wanders between Canada (Southern British Columbia) and points south; a bit uncommon to see, they are related to cormorants as evidenced by throat pouches and webbed toes. Even so, the pelican’s pouch is enormous compared to any cormorant. They wander the Northwest coastline to follow food which they dive to reach and fill their throat pouches – releasing the water and swallowing the fish.

So, it is truly a gift for me from the universe to see so many and in one area. Spoken as a person who is thrilled to see 3 or 4 skimming the waves in view and then to disappear around a sea stack. I’m so happy to see them in such numbers here today!


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