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3 Pelicans & A Spoonbill May 5, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Nature.

A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?

~ Dixon Lanier Merritt

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Like other snowbirds, pelicans flock to the region during season to commune on our lagoon.

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The resident snappy dressers, Roseate Spoonbills, happily share space with their snack happy northern cousins.

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As they glide across the mirrored surface of lakes, ponds, and lagoons, well-pouched pelicans scan for fish, dipping nets at the ready.

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Snatching fish in shallow stocked ponds is a *SNAP* for these sushi loving birds.

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As each fish gets scooped up and swallowed down, a resounding *SNAP* from the pelican’s pouch echoes across and around the pond.

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With every snatched snack, theseΒ voracious visitors smack their lips, keeping count in song:

100 tasty fish in the lake
100 tasty fish
I grab one out
And “SNAP* it about
99 tasty fish in the lake

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Spoonbills, in contrast, are less obvious in appetite as they silently sweep, swirl, and sift through silt at water’s edge:

The roseate spoonbill spends a lot of its time in shallow water feeding. It sweeps its open bill from side to side in the water to sift up food like small fish, shrimp, mollusks, snails and insects. It has touch receptors in its bill that help it feel its prey. Like the flamingo, the roseate spoonbill’s pink color comes from the food it eats. Some of the crustaceans it eats feed on algae that give the spoonbill’s feathers their rosy pink color.Β 

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Spoonbills don’t sing silly fish songs . . . but they do practice Tai Chi and Yoga.


A good after-meal S~T~R~E~T~C~H aids digestion.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Hariod Brawn - May 5, 2015

“Our lagoon” – how very posh; I’m envious! :mrgreen:

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

In Florida, most lagoons are glorified retention ponds. We’re lucky ~> ours are stocked and flocked! 😎

2. Jill Weatherholt - May 5, 2015

I had no idea the pink color comes from the food they eat, Nancy. That’s very cool. Good thing it doesn’t happen to humans. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

In cases, it does. When my sister drinks a lot of carrot juice, she sports a light orange tint to her skin. πŸ™„

Jill Weatherholt - May 5, 2015

I’ve experienced the same thing with carrots. I eat a bowl of baby carrots every night.

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

I wonder what will happen if I eat too much chocolate?
Sunless tan!

3. L. Marie - May 5, 2015

What a delight to see your photos of pelicans and a spoonbill. (Love the poems too.) Like Jill, I didn’t know the food gave the spoonbill its color.

I see Canadian geese, robins, crows, and cardinals in my neck of the woods.

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

Thanks, Linda. We have geese, crows, and the occasional cardinal. I miss the blue jays. But all the large birds are a joy.

4. Catherine Johnson - May 5, 2015

Love that first poem!

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

My grandfather used to recite that poem for me . . . a few years back. It always elicited a giggle.

5. Kate Crimmins - May 5, 2015

Beautiful pictures. Love those birds. So…do the alligators eat them?

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

Thanks, Kate. I bet most birds escape that end. Gators don’t eat often, especially during the winter months. And birds can fly away from snapping jaws with ease. Gators probably eat more fish, turtles, frogs, and swamp rats, but I’d have to check my facts to be sure.

Kate Crimmins - May 5, 2015

Good to know and glad you didn’t include the occasional child that puts his toe in water. I love those pink birds. Of course I love pink flamingos but putting a plastic one in the yard is considered tacky in the north and we won’t see any real ones anytime soon.

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

At Sarasota Jungle Gardens, the flamingos strut their stuff among visitors. We got a great shot of a long legged beauty. So much nicer than their plastic cohorts!


6. Grannymar - May 5, 2015

Those five lines about the Pelican, brought me right back to my childhood. I could actually hear my Granny reciting them to me, as she often did! Thanks for the memory.

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

Your granny and my grandfather! He always elicited a smile with those 5 lines.

7. Don - May 5, 2015

Such restful scenes, Nancy. Such a strange and beautiful bird. We often have the pink backed Pelican down at our river mouth. Loved the poem.

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

Glad you enjoyed. Our neighborhood is a delight ~ for us and the birds.

There are 13 lagoons populated by pelicans, spoonbills, herons, egrets, cormorants, anhingas, osprey, eagles, ducks, geese, ibis, otters, turtles, fish, and the occasional gator.

I would like to see your pink backed pelican.

8. Pix Under the Oaks - May 5, 2015

Your pictures are lovely Nancy, just really lovely. The birds are such a treat. Peaceful. Otters would be a delight! Nice view from your lovely deck and lanai?enclosed porch?

nrhatch - May 5, 2015

Thanks, Pix. The villa has a lanai which was screened but is now glass enclosed. We can open it up with screened sliders. Outside is a smallish deck overlooking the lagoon and mangroves on the far side. Always something fun to look at!

Say hey to CH!

Pix Under the Oaks - May 5, 2015

I remember the deck… very cool. And I also thought you had what we would call a four seasons room. That deck was very nice… so peaceful there. CH just walked in from golf and I told him I was typing at you.. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

The lanai is great for summer storms. We close the doors to the villa (to keep the A/C in) and open the sliders wide enough to enjoy the resounding *BOOMS* with the lightning light show! πŸ™„

9. Tiny - May 5, 2015

Nice captures, Nancy! I see you also caught a juvenile White Ibis in the last shot, mingling with the yoga practicing spoonbills πŸ™‚ He seems to be learning.

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

Yes! The ibis (adult & juvenile) happily co-exist with spoonbills. Even standoffish Great Blue Herons seem willing to share the banks with spoonbills (as soon as they chase off the Great White Egrets).

10. anotherday2paradise - May 5, 2015

Such a picturesque lagoon, and with really beautiful residents, Nancy. I’d love to see even one of those magnificent Spoonbills in our pond. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

I’m also delighted to see that flash of pink in the sky, the trees, or along the bank. Some years we have whole flocks hanging around. Other years just a few stragglers. Either way, those spoon bills make me smile.

11. suzicate - May 5, 2015

Love, love, love that limerick, gave me a chuckle!
These photos are so beautiful and serene.

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

Thanks, Suzi. I spied the trio across the way while walking one day. I scooted over and parted the leaves to get a *SNAP*

12. Barb - May 5, 2015

Love those pelicans! It must be so relaxing to watch all these gorgeous birds flocking in and out of the lagoon. The areal looks very serene.

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

The white pelicans are relaxing and serene. We also have smaller brown pelicans that skim over the lake then DIVE when they spy a fish floating by. Watching comical acrobats is also a joy.

13. Silver in the Barn - May 5, 2015

I so enjoy birds and their activities. We used to live near water and I miss that actually. There were a couple Great Blue Herons who would fish away happily. No snaps of pelican beaks but excellent balance! We were just up in Delaware for a short vacation but didn’t see much difference in flora and fauna, only in the timing of spring’s advance. Hope you are doing well, Nancy!

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

I expect that DE, MD, and VA share many traits except, as you note, the timing of spring’s advance.

We are well and taking advantage of delightful spring weather. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara.

14. Three Well Beings - May 6, 2015

I love pelicans, and enjoy noting the differences between your beautiful residents and what I am more familiar with. But Spoonbills are unfamiliar to me! What a beautiful bird. That color! I do love him for sure! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

Our resident feathered friends make this place for us ~> this week the treat has been baby geese waddling across the street. Little purple puffballs.

15. brickhousechick - May 6, 2015

I’d like to go to that sushi bar, myself! πŸ™‚ Now that you mention it I do turn quite red after drinking sangria! Ha! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - May 6, 2015

Sometimes when red peppers are muy caliente . . . I turn RED. That’s not cool. 😎

16. Behind the Story - May 7, 2015

What a treat for us pelican-less northerners to read your post! The poems and pictures are lovely, and I like the spoonbills’ tai chi. It must be pleasant to stand on the shore of your neighborhood lagoon.

nrhatch - May 7, 2015

We love it AND it’s great that the birds have a place to hang out (suitable habitat) that’s safe from traffic and (most) predators. I say “most” because baby ducks go MIA all the time due to turtles, etc.

17. judithhb - May 7, 2015

Nancy the birds in your neighbourhood are so different to ours. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing.

nrhatch - May 7, 2015

That’s the way I feel when I see birds from South Africa or South America or New Zealand & Australia. Genes provide a diverse variety of concoctions from the same essential ingredients.

18. jannatwrites - June 10, 2015

Pelicans are pretty birds – not something I see in Arizona, haha!

nrhatch - June 10, 2015

Nope, not in Arizona . . . they don’t want to compete with Road Runners (*beep beep*) or try to evade Wil E. Coyote! 😎

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