Galapagos Brown Pelican walks beach, Suaraz Point, Española (Hood) Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
A Galapagos Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis, subspecies: urinator) walks the beach at Suaraz Point, a wet landing location on Española (Hood) Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South America. The Brown Pelican species lives strictly on coasts from Washington and Virginia south to northern Chile and the mouth of the Amazon River. Some immature birds may stray to inland freshwater lakes. Although large for a bird, the Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican. Adults are 106-137 cm (42-54 inches) in length, weigh from 2.75 to 5.5 kg (6-12 pounds), and have a wingspan from 1.83 to 2.5 m (6 to 8.2 feet). 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 pounds of fish in the 8-10 month period they are cared for. The Brown Pelican bird differs from the American White Pelican by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to cooperative fishing from the surface. It eats mainly herring-like fish. The nest location varies from a simple scrape on the ground on an island to a bulky stick nest in a low tree. Pelicans can live more than 30 years. In 1959, Ecuador declared 97% of the land area of the Galápagos Islands to be Galápagos National Park, which UNESCO registered as a World Heritage Site in 1978. Ecuador created the Galápagos Marine Reserve in 1998, which UNESCO appended in 2001.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download