The Brown Pelican is the national bird of Saint Martin, Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the official state bird of Louisiana, appearing on the flag, seal, or coat of arms of each. It has been rated as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It was listed under the United States Endangered Species Act from 1970 to 2009, as pesticides such as dieldrin and DDT threatened its future in the Southeastern United States and California. In 1972, the use of DDT was banned in Florida, followed by the rest of the United States. Since then, the brown pelican’s population has increased. In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt set aside the first National Wildlife Refuge, Florida’s Pelican Island, to protect the species from hunters.
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Notable features of Great Blue Herons include slaty (gray with a slight azure blue) flight feathers, red-brown thighs, and a paired red-brown and black stripe up the flanks; the neck is rusty-gray, with black and white streaking down the front; the head is paler, with a nearly white face, and a pair of black or slate plumes runs from just above the eye to the back of the head. The feathers on the lower neck are long and plume-like; it also has plumes on the lower back at the start of the breeding season. The bill is dull yellowish, becoming orange briefly at the start of the breeding season, and the lower legs are gray, also becoming orangey at the start of the breeding season. Immature birds are duller in color, with a dull blackish-gray crown, and the flank pattern is only weakly defined; they have no plumes, and the bill is dull gray-yellow.