The Brown pelican forages by plunge-diving from heights up to 65 feet or 20m. The Brown pelicans I observed perched on piers or rock formations. Quoting from the Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior
When diving, a Brown Pelican first brings its legs in against its body and retracts its head, then slowly extends the neck and angles the wings backward. The head remains stable during these maneuvers, so that the bird can sight prey along the length of its bill.
On contact with the water, the pelican draws back its wings and opens its bill, centering the prey between its jaws. Its pouch distends rapidly to an enormous size, capable of holding about 21 pints (10 liters), or about 17 ½ pounds (8 kg) of water, and closes around the fish.
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