I’ve been curious for a while about how it works when a brown pelican dive-bombs, at a high rate of speed, for dinner. Does it hurt the bird? Do they get concussions? Arthritis? how efficient? death?.., etc. Well, when researching this I quickly got sidetracked... I went "down the rabbit hole", as they say. This is what I found out:
Brown pelicans are descendant of dinosaurs, not reptiles, and are between 30-40 million years old. Conclusion: Simply put, when it comes to fishing, they know what they are doing! (But humans? Not so much. See the articles below about the effects of diving headfirst into a pool or the ocean. It is a leading cause of spinal cord injuries.)
But the bigger point is they were almost extinct by the mid-1960’s due to the effects of pollutants (primarily DDT, which was officially banned in 1972).
Brown pelicans like we have here were on the endangered species list from 1970-2009. Current research suggests their populations are doing very well internationally.
A lot of us in this area have witnessed this resurgence and are blessed.
Enjoy the birds of prey, they are amazing creatures.
Make a commitment to your health today.
Stay well adjusted,
Dr. Dan Kammer