Louisiana has a mixture of salt domes, wetlands, and river valleys. This attracts a wide range of wildlife. But does Louisiana has a state bird and state animal?
Yes, Louisiana has Black Bear as their state animal but what about the state bird?
The official state bird of Louisiana is Brown Pelican which got this status in 1966. However, there are many facts related to the state bird of Louisiana.
And In this article, I’ll cover all the facts related to the Brown Pelican in detail.
Why Brown Pelican was chosen as the state bird for Louisiana?
The people of Louisiana selected the Brown Pelican as their state bird because of the way they raise their young ones.
Both the parents share their parental duties and they care for & feed their young ones together. The baby birds can socialize at five weeks old by leaving the nest.
They continue to eat together even after the young one leaves the bird colony. This sense of togetherness was appreciated by the Louisiana people and they chose this bird as their state bird.
When did Louisiana get its official state bird?
In July 1996, the state of Louisiana legislature adopted the Brown pelican as their state bird. The Brown Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana only.
What does the Brown Pelican look like?
Pelicans are grey-brown birds with white necks and yellow heads. In Louisiana, these birds populate the waterways.
These birds get dark reddish-brown feathers on the back and neck during the breeding season. They differ from immature birds whose feathers remain grey-brown with a white breast and stomach.
The weight of Brown pelicans is about 6.9 pounds and its length is 54 inches. When it comes to their wingspan, it is between 6.5 feet to 7.5 feet.
These birds are the smallest pelicans among all the seven pelican species.
How Do These Birds Behave?
The pelican birds enjoy all the oceanic coasts of the US, including the Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic coasts. In Louisiana, these birds usually prefer lagoons, coastal beaches, and waterfronts.
The areas with lots of sand and rocky cliffs are preferred by these birds. The pelicans use the rocky precipices as tools.
They love crustaceans and drop them on the rock. This makes it to get open and the meat gets revealed.
These birds build their nest and they use sticks, straws, reeds, feathers, and grasses for building the nest. They can build a nest on a tree or even on the ground.
When they build a nest on the ground, they dig shallow scrape in which they build a lining using materials, especially feathers. The nest of these birds is usually four to six inches in height.
Do Brown Pelicans form communities?
These birds usually live in flocks and nest in colonies. They have serial monogamous relationships which means that they find a new mate during each mating season.
During the mating season, they stay with their partner and rear their young ones together. Generally, the female pelicans lay two to four eggs.
The baby pelicans usually leave the nest at the age of five weeks and socialize with the rest of the flock. The parents can easily recognize their babies and they stay in touch throughout their life.
The baby birds may stay in the nest for up to nine weeks. Although these birds leave their nest to socialize it takes eight to 10 months for them to hunt and feed themselves.
During that time, the parents hunt for the babies and then regurgitate them in the nest to allow the chicks to eat.
While the young pelicans can reach the age of sexual maturity when they come to the age of three and five years.
During these years, they develop their adult plumage and meet their first mate and build the nest together.
What Do Brown Pelicans eat?
The Greater Brown Pelican usually prefers rough fish to eat. They can eat an all-fish diet and prefers prawns.
Food like menhaden, pigfish, mullet, top minnows, sheepshead, silversides, and grass minnows also constitutes part of the diet of the brown pelicans.
They use their oversized bill to catch the fish but they don’t store them in it. Their jaw let it tip its head with a fish in the mouth. This drains out the water and only the fish remains in the mouth.
The bill of brown pelicans can hold three gallons of water. These birds do not drink water but they separate it from the food.
These birds live in coastal environments having saltwater only which can dehydrate. Therefore, these birds are born with built-in desalination filters.
There are some other sea birds as well who are born with this feature including the penguin, gull, and albatross.
The salt glands and ducts are connected to their bills which ensures that these birds do not intake excess salt.
Seawater equal to about 1/10th of their body mass can be consumed by these birds without worrying about any harm.
Louisiana has Brown Pelican as its state bird which was chosen by the people of Louisiana. The people of Louisiana voted for this bird because of their sense of togetherness. When it comes to their diet, they usually prefer prawns and an all-fish diet.
At last, I hope this article may have helped you in some ways. Thank You For Reading!
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