Friday, March 05, 2004

First post on my new blog - check out this cool email from my dad:

Hey Guys,

Mom and I saw some interesting wildlife behavior today at HH I thought
you would want to read about.

It was sunny and warm today (Sunday) if you weren't in the wind. We
walked and ran on the beach, and on the way back we walked along the bike
path that crosses to the other side of the road from the little bridge
by Morning Beach. You know the rectangular pond that is connected to
the canal that runs beside the path. Today, there were 12 pelicans in
that pond flying up a few feet and then splashing back down, over and
over. It turns out there was a huge school of mullet trapped in the pond
because the water in the canal was only a few inches deep. The pelicans
would rise up in groups of 3 to 6 and hit the school at the same time.
The simultaneous attacks must have confused the fish because the
pelicans kept on catching them. It was deliberately synchronized and
coordinated hunting, which I have not seen before with pelicans. At any given
time, about 3 of them were taking breaks on the bank to rest and digest.
Then they would switch off with others. The attacks were almost
continuous and each dive bombing took only a few seconds. We watched them for
half an hour and during that time they must have caught about 2 fish
per minute. They were doing the same thing an hour earlier when we passed
by on our way to the beach. There were hundreds, maybe 1000 fish in the
school. I think a lot of animals are smarter than we give them credit
for, birds anyway.


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