One of the great things about blogging is what you can learn from your followers. Because of the comment on the coloring of the Pelican in yesterday’s post I did some research and that is mating plumage.
But even more interesting to me is that the fibrous growth on the white pelican is not an injury! Sure looked like one to me but according to the internet (And we all know the internet doesn’t lie) it’s a breeding display :
In breeding season they get a light yellowish crest on the back of the head and males get a “nuptial tubercle” or fibrous plate on the upper part of their bill that is unique to white pelicans. The feet and bill turn more brilliant colors when breeding as well. The nuptial tubercle will fall off when mating season is over and the crest will turn gray.
I hope that clears up any misinformation.