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Brown Pelican — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Horry County  |  Brown Pelican

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Brown Pelican

The Eastern Brown Pelican is common along the South Carolina coastline, and is the only pelican in the world that is not white. These beautiful birds were hanging out on at the Crazy Sister Marina in Murrells Inlet (below) and the Springmaid Pier in Myrtle Beach.

Pelican Murrells Inlet

Shannon O’Shea of Harrisburg, 2014 PA © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Brown Pelicans once nested along coastal areas from Mexico to North Carolina, but today they only nest in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. The Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary within the ACE Basin is a popular nesting spot for the pelicans, as is Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary in the Charleston Harbor (seen below). Be aware that Devaux is closed to the public above the high water line and Crab Bank is closed during nesting season, which lasts from March 15th through October 15th. The sanctuaries and their residents can be viewed from the water, however.

Brown Pelican Flying

Vanessa Kauffmann of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Joanna Thurman captured the great shot below, and says that she “much prefers winter at Myrtle Beach to summer, as one is more likely to have close encounters with visitors of another type, such as this Brown Pelican. I always carry a little camera in my pocket, and this day it paid off by providing me with a very fond memory. I chuckle every time I look at it because the bird was such a character.”

Brown Pelican

Joanna Thurman of Conway, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Dawne Dunton, who captured the shot above, describes the scene like this: “On this day I was taking a lot of photos of Clyde, the mascot of the Springmaid Pier. Unfortunately, I had no treats for him and I think he was getting a little irritable with me, he kept peeking over his shoulder at me probably wondering when I was going to leave him alone.”

Springmaid Pier pelican

Dawne M. Dunton of Myrtle Beach, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Dawne recalls the day she snapped the shot above, “Clyde let me get a little closer and I believe this is his best side. Ready for my close up, I think is what he’s saying with this look. He is a beautiful bird.”

Clyde the Springmaid Pier pelican

Dawne M. Dunton, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Brown Pelican Map

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8 Comments about Brown Pelican

Linda Angus says:
February 9th, 2018 at 12:29 pm

I live a block from the ocean in North Myrtle Beach and while letting my dogs out on the back deck I saw a pelican on my deck. One of my dogs chased it before I knew what was happening and it barely escaped over the railing. It was bigger than my lab. I feed birds and wish he would come back to the yard (not the deck because of my crazy dogs). Is anyone feeding pelicans at their home with success?

Don Henderson says:
October 11th, 2015 at 12:18 pm

We just came back from NMBSC and saw pelicans. I've seen them in June and during the summer too. I'm not an expert, but I love watching them, they are amazing creatures. I got this photo of them flying south in the early evening. https://www.flickr.com/photos/yankeedog57/22077101112/in/dateposted-public/

antonio notarangelo says:
May 11th, 2015 at 8:50 am

COMMON NAME: brown pelican
PHYLUM: Chordata
ORDER: Pelecaniformes
FAMILY: Pelecanidae
GENUS SPECIES Pelecanus (a pelican) occidentalis (from the western hemisphere). They’re big birds.

SCIWAY says:
May 5th, 2015 at 6:27 am

I’m sorry you’ve had bad luck spotting pelicans! they are all along the East coast, so keep your eyes peeled!

Christine Fusco says:
May 5th, 2015 at 1:18 am

I am in Myrtle Beach for the 4th year and have never been able to find the Pelicans. I have gone to Murrles Inlet and HBSP. I am wondering if I am here at the time when they may be nesting out of sight? I am here mid April. Any help in finding them would be so greatly appreciated!

Paul from Mass says:
February 15th, 2012 at 11:44 am

I was watching pelicans feed all morning. What amazing birds, the way they dive for fish. Myrtle Beach is heaven.

June Taylor says:
January 26th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

The contrast between the blue sky and the bird is beautiful!!

Chris says:
December 16th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I’m relocating to the area hopefully soon, and it is nice to scope out your site to see all the things SC has to offer. The pics are top notch image quality!



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