You’ll Not See Nothing Like the Mighty Pelican

January 7, 2009

I’ve had some interesting experiences since I last posted here… For one thing, there was a trip to NYC on December 31st, which included lunch at Katz’s Deli and a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian to see: 1. the Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian exhibit, and 2. the Identity by Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses exhibit. Then there was jury duty on January 5th.  (Actually, I only got as far as sitting through the selection process, and didn’t even get called up for an interview.)

However, I don’t feel like writing about those things.  Instead, I want to talk about a fine-feathered friend of mine – the pelican, my favorite bird.  The recent news about an increase in the number of sick brown pelicans in California is quite upsetting to me, given my affection for these creatures.

I suppose it’s strange that I should develop such a fondness for pelicans…  My fascination with these birds began during a fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale, Florida approximately twenty years ago. When we returned to the marina, at least a dozen pelicans settled themselves all over the boat, begging for handouts. I was enthralled.

Despite their ungainly appearance, there is something graceful about the way they dive-bomb the water in search of a meal. I could watch them for hours. In fact, I did just that on El Capitan Beach in Santa Barbara, California, during a cross-country trip in 1996.

Pelicans aren’t exactly a common sight in New York (although I have seen them in New Jersey), so I have to make do with some figurines and stuffed pelicans.  Here’s a sampling of my collection.

A few weeks ago, I was delighted to come across this pelican calendar.

My favorite photograph is featured for the month of March.

Now if only I could see a white pelican, I’d be a very satisfied bird watcher.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879 – 1972):

“Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week.
But I’m darned if I know how the helican.”

Song of the Day: King of Birds by R.E.M.


9 Responses to “You’ll Not See Nothing Like the Mighty Pelican”

  1. catsoul said

    They are so graceful when they dive into the water. I love to watch woodpeckers, so I have to say besides the hummingbirds, I really like woodpeckers. Pelicans are an awesome bird, I also love your collection, that glass one is beautiful. =^..^=

  2. LA said

    How did I miss those? Are they upstairs? I don’t know if you can bear zoos, but the Bronx Zoo has a wonderful pelican pond. It’s open to the sky, btw, and they are free to come and go. ~LA

  3. LeAnn said

    Your collection is lovely. Pelicans really are so graceful. I agree with Catsoul. I am very fond of woodpeckers. When I was fifteen I visited Point Pelee National Park near Windsor, Ontario. It’s very popular with bird watchers. I was underwhelmed to say the least. I regret that I didn’t appreciate it more. All I remember is that there were a lot of folks dressed like Miss Jane from the Beverly Hillbillies! lol.

  4. terri t. said

    I loved the glass pelican also. I have seen some pelicans in Michigan. We are about 9 miles from the stateline and then can travel about 45 miles to get to Lake Michigan where they are all around the piers.

  5. Michael said

    Often when driving across the bridges around here, you can watch pelicans diving into the bay. It’s a pretty cool thing to see, actually.

  6. LA said

    LOL!!!! Since Leigh’s whole body is less than the circumference of ONE of my thighs it’s no bloody wonder she can pull off cowboy boots and a mini!

    The leopard thing is just a personal preference. It’s lumped in with tattoos as something no ‘Nice Girl’ wears. Ahh…the fangs of my mother are still sunk in deep. ~LA

  7. Stefani said

    Nice assortment of Pelicans – interesting variations!

  8. Emily said

    Do you know of any place in NYC to get pelican figurines or stuffed pelicans? I’m looking for one.


  9. yaketyyak said

    While I am sure there are many places where you can buy stuffed and figurine pelicans in NYC, I am unable to supply the names of stores. Mine have come from a variety of places – thrift shops, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, ebay, etc. Good luck!

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