Scientific Name: Pelecanus occidentalis
The adult brown pelican is a large dark gray-brown water bird with white about the head and neck. Immatures are gray-brown above and on the neck, with white underparts.
Forages mainly in early morning or late afternoon, or when tide is rising. Feeds almost entirely on fish, caught by diving from 20-40 feet in the air, and occasionally from up to 66 ft.
After breeding, beginning as early as mid-May, individuals leave colonies in the Channel Islands and in Mexico, and disperse along the entire California coast.
UPDATE: Effective January, 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has removed the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to recovery. This action is based on a review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicate that the species is no longer in danger of extinction, or likely to become so within the foreseeable future. The brown pelican will remain protected under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. For more details and documentation see links at US Fish & Wildlife Service below.