A Galapagos Bird Both Ungainly and Elegant

January 4, 2010
Imagine what it would be like to be a pelican and live in a place with abundant fish.

Ecuador and Peru Travel Report # 6 and Visual Viewpoint: Amazing Fishers

Pelican

If you’ve been reading this blog for the past month, you’ll know that I went on a trip to South America for three weeks. Now I’m s-l-o-w-l-y getting back to doing what I like best, which is writing and creating programs for healing relationships. Before I left, I said that when I returned I would undoubtedly share some of what I’d experienced while I was gone and this is the first of my reports. This pelican was one of the first birds, of many, I saw on our trip to the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin collected evidence of evolution. Pelicans don’t t look so great on land, but when they fly, they are able to soar and dive with the best of them. In keeping with today’s topic, I guess we could ask whether pelicans are pessimists or optimists. Does this guy see his pouch as half full or half empty? Guess it depends on the individual bird and how plentiful are the fish in the area where he lives. Certainly the marine life is plentiful in these islands off the coast of Ecuador where the Humboldt Current feeds a rich diversity of animals. So this bird is likely to expect he’ll find something soon. In any case, I can’t resist sharing a poem about these creatures with their strange talents for scooping up fish in a quick dive.

Oh what a strange bird is the pelican. His beak can hold more than his belly can. He can hold in his beak enough food for a week. But I don’t know how in the heck he does it.

[Those of you who have heard this poem before by the famous Anonymous will see that I’ve changed a word in the last line in deference to sensitivities of some of my readers.]

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