Flying High II

Start of a new week. The pelican series will come to an end soon. As soon as I finish my pelican book!

pelicans flying_Melanie Franz

I realized after drawing the pelican above that I have drawn him before. See below.

5 years are between both drawings. Which one do you prefer? I remember that the one below took me ages to finish. The one above was pretty much a 10 min sketch!

2015 Pelican_Melanie Franz

Flying High

So this week once again just flew by quickly.

As the weather forecast is fantastic for the next couple of days, I will be off to a hiking trip in the Icelandic highlands. I also promise that the pelican series will come to an end soon. Latest when Inktober starts!

Have a great weekend everyone!

pelicans flying high_Melanie Franz

Pelicans and their Fish

Pelicans can eat 4 pounds of fish per day.

They will take large amount of water together with the fish they catch. But before swallowing the fish, they move their heads forward to remove excess water.

Pelican eating fish_Melanie Franz_

Flying into the Weekend

Off to the countryside to barbecue some fish. We not gonna catch it ourselves, that is too much work. But the eating part, we certainly can do.

Colourwise this pelican is one of my favourites so far. What do you think?

Happy weekend everyone!

Prey of the Pelican II

Although not being considered dangerous, pelicans are quite big and you wouldn´t want to mess with them!

The diet of pelicans usually consists of fish, but occasionally amphibians, turtles, crustaceans, insects, birds, and mammals are also eaten. The size of the preferred prey fish varies depending on pelican species and location. Apparently pelicans have even been observed eating smaller birds, sometimes scooping up water in order to drown them before swallowing.

Pelican eats pigeon_Melanie Franz

Flight of the Pelican II

Did you know that pelicans fly at an average speed of 25 km/h but they have been record with top speed of up to 65 km/h?

Their wing span ranges from 183 cm – 350 cm depending on the species. So yes, they are quite massive and you rather don´t mess with them.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Flying Pelicans_Melanie Franz

Pelican and their Fish

An adult pelican may eat up to 1.8 kilograms of fish per day!

The brown pelican is a keen-eyed predator that can spot a fish swimming under the ocean’s surface even while flying almost 20 m above.

Its bigger cousin, the Peruvian pelican, also has great vision. Once a target has been spotted from above, the pelicans plunge into the sea bill-first at high speeds—and often from great height. When they collide with the prey, the impact force usually stuns the victim and it is then scooped up in the pouch.

Pelican eats fish_Melanie Franz

Pelican Landing

The brown pelican is a unique feeder that makes impressive dives from above the surface. They fly just above the surface of the water, then circle high, and when ready dive headfirst, plunging under water to catch fish.

They are able to dive from as high as 30 meters! The deeper the meal the higher the dive.

This pelican landing turned out purple for artistic expression.

20_07 Pelican landing_Melanie Franz

Pelican Offspring

Who has seen a baby pelican? I haven´t. Something unusual about the populations of coastal pelicans is that baby pelicans are never seen. 

Pelicans nest far away in inland or remote locations in large breeding colonies. The pair chooses a relatively flat nest site on gravel, sand, or soil near other pelicans at the same stage of the breeding cycle. In southern, drier regions, they nest amongst sparse vegetation. In forested regions, sites may be under shrubs or trees.

Both parents feed their young.

From about 25 days old, the young pelicans gather in “pods” or “crèches” of up to 100 birds. The parents recognise and feed only their own offspring.

Young Pelican in nest_Melanie Franz

Pelican Hangout

Pelicans are very social birds. They live in large colonies composed of several hundreds of birds. A group of pelicans has numerous collective nouns, including pod, scoop and squadron.

Happy Sunday everyone!

20_07 Pelican hangout_Melanie Franz

Pose like a Pelican

Pelicans are a characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped-up contents before swallowing.

There are 8 different living pelican species. You can find them ranging latitudinally from the tropics to the temperate zone, though they are absent from interior South America and from polar regions and the open ocean.

Prey of the Pelican

This one just caught his dinner.

The diet of pelicans usually consists of fish. The size of the preferred prey fish varies depending on pelican species and location.

But did you know that occasionally they also eat amphibians, turtles, crustaceans, insects, birds, and mammals?

20_06-pelican-fish_Melanie Franz Watercolour