The Lazy Pelican

The Lazy Pelican

Photo: mitsy mcgoo
“Pontificating Pelicans” by Virginia Dell Lichac

Pelicans clearly have been around for a long time.  They’re large birds with a head that, when flying, looks like it came straight out of a dinosaur field guide.  Born again Pterodactyls, perhaps.

In flight they are incredibly graceful.  They often travel in packs, floating above the shoreline like roaming bird bombers.  And when alone they can be seen gliding inches above the water’s surface, a lone feather dipped in to create the tiniest of wakes.

But in spite of all that grace and beauty and history, I think they were put on this earth to entertain us.  Especially at this time of year when the mullet are running by the millions. 

Instead of lazily gliding along they suddenly become frantic, diving at anything and everything.  Grace gives way to gluttony, and ungainliness.

They start out innocently enough, skimming the surface.  Then, in an instant, their beak plunges in the water after something silvery.  Their wings curl, one up and one down, as they do a quick somersault, landing on their side.

At this point one of the little mullets jumps out of the water about a foot away from the confused looking pelican.  Even from inside the house, with the doors closed, you can hear it shout “Yippee!!”

The pelican quickly regroups, flies off, and repeats the exercise about twenty feet away.

It’s about at this point that I chuckle to myself and wonder how they ever got so big.  They dive so often, and miss so many fish.

Then, exhausted from their hunting and not gathering, they collect themselves on our dock.  Dozens of them.  Some stand on the dock, others sit on the pilings, and a few float in the water below.

Our neighbor has a rope on the edge of his dock, running from piling to piling.  And he’s capped each one, presumably in an effort to keep the birds away.  Undeterred, the pelicans land on the line and swing back and forth, to the tune of some long lost calypso lullaby.

So there they are, congregating on the dock, leaving large pools of guano as their berthing fee.  Occasionally, after sufficiently resting and recovering, they will spot something that appears tasty below the surface.

But at this point they can’t be bothered to fly off, lock in on a single unlucky mullet with their pelican radar, and swoop in for the kill.  No.  Instead, they just fall off the piling, opening their mouth as they splash into the water, and hope for the best.

And this, dear reader, is how we have come to name our house The Lazy Pelican.

What this has to do with the slow life I haven’t a clue.  But it’s a story that had to be told.


5 Comments on “The Lazy Pelican

  1. LOL! Certainly a creature of entertainment as is your story! My favorite of the pelican is when it it flies just above the surface of the water like a bomber with a large wingspan under the radar. Thanks

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