|Courtesy Manfred, ThisFabTrek.com|
Hereabouts, we have brown pelicans during nonbreeding season, and now and then American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, the specific name meaning "red-billed") as well.
That caused me to wonder, what is the distribution of brown pelicans, how many species of pelican are there, and what are their closest relatives? Wikipedia to the rescue.
|Red: year-round, nonbreeding; |
orange: year-round, breeding
The name comes from the Ancient Greek word pelekan (πελεκάν), itself derived from the word pelekys (πέλεκυς), meaning "axe." In classical times, the word was applied to both the pelican and the woodpecker.
There. I learned something! I hope you did too.