A perched pelican is a comical sight, like these specimens spotted on Cozumel last year.
However, a squadron of pelicans, or even an individual, flying overhead is something else, riding the air with a grace one might not expect in such an ungainly-looking bird.
And when they dive--oh my.
They come down fast, from heights of as much as 65 feet according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, deadly dive-bombers aiming for fish that they can see even underwater and from that distance. Here on the Gulf, they put on quite a show, particularly in the mornings and late afternoons. Gulls trail after them, hoping that fish will slip from a pelican's distended pouch as it drains the water, though I have seen few successful thefts.
The pelicans, however, do signal their fishing success. Once a pelican leans its head back and swallows, it does a most entertaining little butt-wiggle.
The things one learns by sitting on the terrace.