I found this photo from my Facebook friend (Ellie Finlay)
The poem was shared in the comments from Jonathan Hagger (AKA -Madpriest )
As always I go to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for my first source.
“A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I'll be darned if I know how the hellican?”
― Dixon Lanier Merritt
Pelicans are a genus of large water birds that makes up the family Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped up contents before swallowing. They have predominantly pale plumage, the exceptions being the brown and Peruvian pelicans. The bills, pouches and bare facial skin of all species become brightly coloured before the breeding season. The eight living pelican species have a patchy global distribution, ranging latitudinally from thetropics to the temperate zone, though they are absent from interior South America as well as from polar regions and the open ocean.
Long thought to be related to frigatebirds, cormorants, tropicbirds, gannets and boobies, pelicans instead are now known to be most closely related to the shoebill and hamerkop, and are placed in the order Pelecaniformes. Ibises, spoonbills, herons and the desolate bitterns have been classified in the same order. Fossil evidence of pelicans dates back to at least 30 million years to the remains of a beak very similar to that of modern species recovered from Oligocene strata in France. They are thought to have evolved in the Old World and spread into the Americas; this is reflected in the relationships within the genus as the eight species divide into Old World and New World lineages.
The fossil record shows that the pelican lineage has existed for at least 30 million years; the oldest known pelican fossil was found in Early Oligocene deposits at the Luberon in southeastern France and is remarkably similar to modern forms. Its beak is almost complete and is morphologically identical to that of present-day pelicans, showing that this advanced feeding apparatus was already in existence at the time.
The pelican (Henet in Egyptian) was associated in Ancient Egypt with death and the afterlife. It was depicted in art on the walls of tombs, and figured in funerary texts, as a protective symbol against snakes. Henet was also referred to in the Pyramid Texts as the "mother of the king" and thus seen as a goddess. References in non-royal funerary papyri show that the pelican was believed to possess the ability to prophesy safe passage in the underworld for someone who had died.
Alcatraz Island was given its name by the Spanish because of the number of large numbers of brown pelicans nesting present. The word alcatraz is itself derived from the Arabic "al-caduos", a term used for a water-carrying vessel and likened to the pouch of the pelican. The English name albatross is also derived by corruption of the Spanish word.
In medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood by wounding her own breast when no other food was available.