Illustrator Christina Mattison Ebert shares depictions and information on coastal birds
Almost as iconic to the island as the silhouette of the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier against a stunning sunset, the brown pelican is a timeless favorite among locals and visitors. Often spotted resting on old pilings in the bay, they are peaceful elements of the marine landscape. In hunting mode, they are powerful aerial divers that plunge headfirst into the water to snatch their prey. In flight, they are elegant gliders soaring effortlessly, sometimes mere inches from the water’s surface.
Perhaps the most recognizable feature of the brown pelican is a large throat pouch in which they catch fish — and which can hold up to 2.6 gallons of water. These year-round residents of coastal marine areas also boast tremendous wingspans of about 6.5 feet to 8 feet.
FUN FACT: Brown pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet.