There are eight living species of this odd gangley bird. Half of the species nest on the ground and the other half nest in trees. They have been around for 30 million years. I think these below are brown pelicans. They can soar up to 10,000 feet (with up to a 6.5 foot wing span) and usually fly in colonies. Like many water birds when you see them moving their bills over their backsides they are preening to release oil from glands to improve waterproofing of their feathers. They are monogamous and can live up to 25 years in the wild, longer in captivity. They eat mostly fish but have been seen eating other birds, reptiles. crustaceans and even small dogs. (Hide that chihuahua!) In mythology the pelican could be found on funeral walls to ward off snakes and provide a safe passage to the underworld for the dead. My photos are not great...shooting into the sun...but I did not have a say in where I was moving! You may ask if I could smell it in the last photo and I must admit...yes.