Redcliffe Pier

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CAN A PELICAN'S BEAK HOLD MORE THAN HIS BELLY CAN?

At feeding time for the Pelicans and Eels at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the Pelicans circle in the sky, swoop down and ski across the water to a stop.


Paddling into the shore.

The clan is gathering.

Some cormorants with purple eyes were hoping to get some food too.

Soon the keepers arrived and threw fish for the birds and all the time giving an informative commentary. 

 The keeper explained how the pelican will turn the fish around in its beak so that the fish goes down head first so that the spines on the fins won't get caught in its throat. She purposely gave one the fish tail first so that we could watch the pelican juggle it around and gulp it down head first.

 Then it was the Eels' turn to be fed chicken pieces. The keeper tapped the water with his foot and they all came swimming up onto the sand. They can't see very well and they wave their head around trying to find the food. I think they use sense of smell to find their prey.
The slippery, slimy dudes were hard to capture as they were in a squirming, seething feeding frenzy. So the shot is blurry.
Joining in with Saturday Critters see more interesting critters here.

38 comments:

  1. You were a bit close to those slippery and slimy "dudes".
    I knew you were nimble when younger, obviously those "genes"
    have been well preserved for a quick backward jump!

    I reckon pelicans have an insatiable appetite, whilst the food keeps
    coming their beaks remain open.
    Great photos and documentary.
    Cheers
    Colin
    PS: The lorikeet DID NOT think I was sweet!

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  2. The pelicans are beautiful. They're big birds. The eels are enormous.

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  3. Fantastic Pelican pictures They eat quite big fish. We don't have Pelicans but we do have big eels here

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  4. Beautiful pictures ! The pelicans seem to be very hungry !!

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  5. The pelicans are quite comical birds. When i was in Australia I was quite taken by the size of the Australian pelican.

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  6. Pelicans fascinate me. They can wait so patiently for fishermen at Hastings, on the Mornington Peninsula, to toss them fish, but once tossed this manic whir of feathers and snapping beaks erupt. And i had no idea that eels could be fed like this.

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  7. Diane, I am so happy that you could join in with my critter party.. I love the Pelicans, awesome shots. I have never seen an eel come out of the water, very cool. Great photos! Thank you for linking up, have a happy weekend!

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  8. Enjoying your shots so much.
    Wanna be there and see them straightly.
    www.1sthappyfamily.com/2014/09/feed-deer.html

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  9. Hoe interesting, the wildlife there seems free-roaming instead of in enclosures, yet they are trained to come for feedings. I've never seen eels come for food, some places they are on the menu.

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  10. Wonderful shots of the pelicans Diane, they are shch fun to watch.. Not so much the eels, they 're a wee bit eeeewy :)

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  11. Your images are so clear and true, Diane. I love the second and third one of the pelican. I never knew eels came for food. I know in some countries they are food! Congratulations on a great post !

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  12. Harmless and as fascinating as eels are, they are a bit too snake like for my liking. Watching pelicans is time well spent, especially if two have grasped one fish and neither will give in.

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  13. Great captures. There are pelicans that sit on top of the lights at the boat ramp

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  14. Wow! I have never seen or heard of feeding Eels . Great shots. Have a good weekend.

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  15. pelicans are such cool birds, but those eels! wow!

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  16. Those eels are a little bit creepy aren't they! I like the landing sequence shots too! I'm sure he can hold more in his beak than tummy- it's a bit like how I feel on holiday too haa

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  17. Pelicans are my favorite bird. these are so much different than ours are here. i love the black and white and the hue of their beaks... the eels are creepy for sure... the pelican shots are great... i love them all but number 8 is my favorite, the beak is translucent and the fish sliding down. super shot

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  18. I adore your pelicans. Your Australian ones have very pretty markings. I was amazed to see those eels. I never knew they could swim up on the sand. Great photos as always Diane. Very enjoyable!

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  19. What a truly fascinating demo! I love that the pelicans and eels and cormorants are all fed there, and people can watch. The pelicans are really beautiful! The eels...well, I'd never seen pictures like this before. The thought that they will come to the surface to be fed was quite a revelation. Wow! Great post!

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  20. I've never liked eels. They a tad too slimey for me. Pelicans I love. When I lived in Long Beach California for a temporary term of 20 months 2005-2007 I would get up in the morning early and go down to Sunset Beach and sit and watch the pelicans dive for food. Completely fascinating.

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  21. Are eels really more slimy than other fish? I've never seen or touched one. We have pelicans on the big lakes here in the summer,and it's fun to watch them fish. Nice photos.

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  22. I didn't know ells came out of the water.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  23. Great photos and interesting notes. I never knew that pelicans turned the fish around to swallow head first but it make sense. Have a good day t'other Diane

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  24. Wonderful shots of the pelicans. They are really cool birds. I've never seen eels come out for feeding. Pretty fascinating.

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  25. Great photos! The eels coming onto shore to be fed are a spectacular and surprising sight. I haven't been to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in years, but good to see there's still wildlife surviving on the Gold Coast.

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  26. Oooh, I love these pictures, slimy eels and all. I've made myself quite popular with a few 8 year old grandsons by teaching them the whole pelican poem . (Daughter and sons laughed and remembered, but I don't think my daughters-in-law were that impressed ;>).

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  27. Those eels gave me the creeps so slimy and all......................

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  28. What a fascinating experience! Your photos are marvelous, but I have to say that I find the pelicans more appealing than the eels.

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  29. Great photo's, especially the one's of the pelicans with the turning fish!

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  30. Eels coming to get their chicken parts...I never imagined such a thing!

    Those pelicans are very cute.
    ~

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  31. I love Pelicans! Of course the brown pelican is our state bird. The whites are lovely too. Your photographs are beautiful!

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  32. How interesting... I had no idea about the pelicans--and how they eat... AND those eels do look slimy... I didn't know that they don't see well. Not sure I've ever seen a close-up picture of an eel... They do look strange, don't they?

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  33. You know in Europe they eat smoked eels. Must admit I have never tried.

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  34. Finally got over to see your pelicans! Very cool and they are almost reverse colored of ours here. I like that they have more black and that lovely pink bill! What a fun place to visit altho the eels grossed me out! LOL

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