Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
The brown pelican is the national bird of St. Maarten and it is a part of
our coat of arms. It’s a large bird with a wingspan between 105-14
with its characteristic bill and with its huge throat pouch its easy recognize.
It commonly soars upwards before plunge-diving vertically with its wings almost
folded in pursuit of fish. The species is most often seen solitary or in small groups,
flying in a single file. It commonly perches on posts or exposed rocks near the
water’s edge. Its nesting grounds here are at Fort Amsterdam. Pelican breed
mainly between March and July. With two to four eggs in each nest. Habitat loss,
human disturbance and hunting have all played a part in the decline of the species
over the last couple of decades.