The Wary Pelican

February 19, 2020

The Wary Pelican

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Open-air seafood market

We love to stop in at Kimball’s Seafood in Pass Christian to pick up a little fresh seafood when we’re at Gumbo Cove.

Blue sign that says "live crabs and shrimp"

We were too late for the live crabs because they were already sold out for the day, but were just in time to meet a wary pelican. We had made our shrimp purchase and were about to head out, when the Grill-Meister alerted me to his presence on the dock below where the shrimp boat unload their catch.

Pelican on Dock with Crab Carcasses
The pelican was hovering near a crab carcass or two

I hopped down with my iPhone to make his acquaintance.

Brown pelican up close on dock

He wasn’t scared of me, and he really didn’t want me to get close to his crab carcass (behind him on the left), probably a remnant from today’s catch.

Because it’s National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), he dictated a haiku to me (it’s not very good, but it was his first effort, so we’ll forgive him):

that's my crab carcass,
and can you keep me off of
the endangered list?

He has a point. His forebears were on the Endangered Species list from 1970 to 2009, mostly due to pesticides, DDT in particular. They were even extinct in Louisiana for a while until they were reintroduced. These days, brown pelicans are everywhere, listed as “Least Concern” on the conservation chart. Let’s keep it that way.

Tiring of me, the pelican ambled over to the edge of the dock, turned his back, and waited for me to leave. Our interview was over, his message conveyed, and he just wanted to get back to the crab carcass. The seagull might have been waiting for the scraps, too.

Brown Pelican and Seagull
 


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