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jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Brown Pelicans 3

Length of Segment: 00:01:15

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Brown pelicans are normally found all along the warm coasts of North and South America and throughout the Caribbean. They typically nest in colonies on off-shore islands that are free of predators, such as raccoons, and that have minimal human disturbance. Larger colonies can include several thousand pairs and successful nesting can take more than four-and-a-half months. Males generally select the nest site, but it's the female that builds the nest from sticks brought by the male. Their crude stick nests are placed in low trees or on the ground. Because of the brown pelican's long wings and large size, the vegetation of a nesting area has to be open enough to allow the birds to extend their wings to take off. A female brown pelican lays two to four chalky white eggs that the parents incubate by wrapping the webbing between their toes around them. The eggs take four-and-a-half weeks to hatch and, for their first three weeks of life, one of the adult birds remains with the chicks. At the age of two-and-a-half months, young brown pelicans take their first clumsy flight.

'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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