There are eight known species of pelicans.

The American White Pelican is the one we’re accustomed to seeing around here.

The juvenile Brown Pelican in my feature photo was enjoying a swim at the Curaçao Sea Aquarium on the day we did our deep dive with Substation Curaçao.

We watched this adult Brown Pelican from the pier at Port Isabel, TX. (note how the plumage changes colour in adulthood), This one was demonstrating why I’m fascinated with these awkward-looking birds. In my world, any creature that can twist their head to look backwards deserves props.

Today, as I was researching pelicans for this post, I learned that the Pelican is regarded as a symbol of charity and sometimes as a symbol of Christ in the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Education website states: “The legend was that in time of famine, the mother pelican wounded herself, striking her breast with the beak to feed her young with her blood to prevent starvation. Another version of the legend was that the mother fed her dying young with her blood to revive them from death, but in turn lost her own life.”

“He wondered why the pelican was the symbol of charity, except it was that it wanted a good deal of charity to admire a pelican”

G.K. Chesterton