Corrected: Ask SIB: Nesting Brown Pelicans

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Brown Pelicans roosting in trees at Sanibel Island. Photo by Ron deAndrade

This is being republished to correct the issue with some of the photos.

 

Q: We recently (April) returned from Sanibel, Fl . We noticed most Pelicans were in pine trees, near the top. I never see our Pelicans in trees on Seabrook. Is this from lack of beach trees or something else?

Thanks, Ron deAndrade, Pelican Watch

 

A: Brown Pelicans preferred nest sites are in mangroves, usually 2-3 meters above the ground. They may reuse these nests in subsequent years. On Deveaux Bank, the largest pelican rookery in SC, many do nest in wax myrtles. However, myrtles are not abundant and hundreds also nest on the ground.

Cheers – enjoy our pelicans!

Carl Helms

Here are several pelicans on nests in the myrtles…
Here is a nest on the ground…
Here is another pelican in a mangrove in the Galapagos Islands. Not nesting but roosting and preening but in a tree.
And finally, here’s more pelicans in trees. Seabrook, winter 2010. 14th tee, Ocean Winds