National Geographic : 1975 Jan
Headed in for breakfast, a month-old nestling routinely forages in the parent's pouch for partly digested fish (above). For the first ten days this chick ate regurgitated fish dribbled on the nest floor by the parents. At about two weeks (below left), the baby birds become raucous beggars for handouts. Downy nestlings two months old (below right) huddle in one of Florida's few ground-level nesting areas, their legs marked by the author's red streamers. He also tagged them with aluminum bands to help in researching pop ulation, life span, plumage characteristics, and migration. Once they leave the nest, at about three months, pelicans skim the seas in a lifetime of silence, having lost the squawking voices of their juvenile days.