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Pelecanus Occidentalis


BMP 1001

BMP 1003

BMP 1002


     The beautiful adult Brown Pelican can reach a weight of 9 pounds and achieve a wing span up to 7 feet. It is widely believed that the yellow crown appears several months before breeding season and molts after nesting begins. Under optimum conditions their life span can reach 30 years.

     The population along the Mississippi coast as well as other east and west coast areas were almost decimated in the 1960s by pesticides such as DDT.  Ingestion of pesticide residues in the fish they ate affected the reproductive processes. Thin-shelled eggs that were easily crushed and other impairments of the reproductive system resulted in reducing their numbers to the point where they were placed on the endangered species list in 1972. Along the Pacific coast the species has been plagued by Avian Botulism. In 1996 it was estimated that over 11,000 died from eating the fish that carried the botulism. Human disturbances in nesting areas, commercial fishing, pesticides and pollution are just a few of the factors that threaten the species today. Their fight to survive continues. 


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Copyright 1999-2009 D. E. Mac McGuffee. All Rights reserved. All images and text are the intellectual property of D. E. Mac McGuffee and are protected by the United States and International copyright laws. Postal address: P. O. Box 2128, Brandon, Mississippi 39043. Central Mississippi Phone 601-955-9416. Fax 601-591-1808. Mississippi Gulf Coast 228-832-2913. Email: