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A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.
The Pelican, Dixon Lanier Merritt, American poet

I met the stunning Great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) above at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park in Malaysia in May 2013. The great thing about the bird park was its huge aviaries, where the birds had plenty of space and a relatively natural environment to roam in. The American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), below, were gathering to roost on the Fox River, in De Pere, in the US state of Wisconsin in July 2015.

200304 american white pelican (1)200304 american white pelican (2)

I can’t help but wonder what the pelican with its beak open is doing – scratching an itch?