A pelican can live for 30 years under perfect conditions,
but this seldom happens in the wild. The average lifespan
of a pelican has been cut in half over the past 35 years.
Occasionally a pelican is caught by a raccoon, an alligator
or a shark, but his greatest enemy is man. Nine out of ten
pelicans are injured or killed by fishing line. Many are also
harmed by fishermen who are careless with their hooks or netting,
and by speed boats, jet skis, pesticides, pollution and plastics.
In flight, white pelicans are a spectacular sight.
Almost always in groups, they fly gracefully in precisely
spaced lines or formations, flapping slowly in unison half
a dozen times, then gliding, then flapping and gliding again.
They fly with the neck held back against the shoulders, and
the bill resting against the breast.