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Brown Pelicans: Striking sea birds common along Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast Notes - News

Brown PelicansThe pelican is an unusual bird, so unusual that it has its own limerick raising the question of whether, “His bill holds more than his belican.”

The answer is yes, according to experts, a pelican's bill does have a larger capacity than its stomach.

While a pelican's stomach can hold up to 1 gallon, its bill and pouch (the gular pouch) can hold up to 3 gallons of fish and water.

Looking like a squadron of low flying bombers, the sight of brown pelicans flying in formation over the waves is common along the Oregon coast.


The brown pelican is a permanent resident of the coastal marine environment from central North America southward to northern South America.

“They really are the Walter Cronkite of the bird world,” said local naturalist Rick Hiser while laughing. “Stately and staid, they don’t seem to ever get too excited.”

While there are a variety of different types of pelicans, the brown pelican is unique.

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