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National bird

 

National bird

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.