Pelican Tries to Eat an Octopus

March 24th, 2008

Spring just began last Thursday, but on Easter Sunday, it felt like Summer! It was over eighty degrees at the beach with almost no wind. Everyone was out and having a good time. So, this meant a parking headache. As much I hate the crowds, living by the beach can be a lot of fun. I saw a lot of great birds, but one incident with a pelican really stood out.

I stopped to admire a pelican that was standing on some rocks right below me. A few other families were also watching this bird. At first, I thought they were simply interested in the pelican. It was a beautiful bird. But, as I watched, I realized that the pelican had a large bulge in its neck.

Suddenly, the pelican rose up and regurgitated something! It almost escaped from its bill…

…but then the pelican snapped its bill shut, preventing the prey from escaping. I was finally able to get a good look at a tentacle. This looked like an octopus!

The pelican struggled to swallow the food, but each time it got stuck in its throat. It was simply too big to go down. As soon as the pelican lost its grip on the octopus, another pelican swooped in and scooped it up. I captured the action above just as the second pelican grabbed the octopus. The first pelican almost looks sad sitting on the rock above.

The second pelican flew to a nearby rock and tried to swallow the food it had stolen. Unfortunately, it had the same problem. I watched for another twenty minutes as the pelican tried to swallow the stolen goods unsuccessfully. It would force the octopus down its throat and then push its beak against its neck in an attempt to keep the food down. As time went on, other pelicans began to gather around, waiting until this bird gave up and they could have a chance at the octopus. If you look behind the bird flapping its wings in the picture above, you will see a daring seagull. It grew impatient and started to nip at the pelican. The pelican was not happy and gave it one bad look before the seagull went back to waiting patiently.

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3 Responses to “Pelican Tries to Eat an Octopus”

  1. Sandpiper on March 24, 2008 8:20 am

    What fun!! I love stories like this. Silly pelicans! I love your pictures. :)

  2. Birding Scott on April 3, 2008 8:35 pm

    Thanks Sandpiper!

  3. Anonymous on June 13, 2009 7:47 am

    :) :)

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