Streams

A Pelican Shows Us What It's Like To Fly

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pelicans have the life. They live by the water, fly over the ocean, and eat lots of fish. Among humans, only T.C. from Magnum P.I. comes close to matching them. And he's just a fictional character, played by Roger E. Mosley.

But what happens when a pelican needs help from humans? Say he's abandoned as a youngster, and needs some pointers on learning how to fly. That was the case recently in Tanzania. And there was no T.C. around to save the day.

Instead, the staff of Greystoke Mahale took in the great white pelican that had sought refuge after a storm. They nursed him back to health and gave him a name (Big Bird). And when he needed some pointers on flying, they improvised until he got the hang of it.

Big Bird repaid them by letting them strap a small HD camera on his beak — and letting all of us see what it's like to skim over the surface of the water of Lake Tanganyika, one of the world's largest freshwater lakes. The resort sits on its banks, with the Mahale Mountains in the distance.

The resort shot a video that was picked up and expanded upon by GoPRO, the camera company.

We'll leave you with a quote from artist Walter Inglis Anderson, who gained a deep appreciation for pelicans during his sojourns on barrier islands along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. It's from his book (you guessed it) Pelicans:

"After you have lived on the island for awhile, there comes a time when you realize that the pelican holds everything for you. It has the song of the thrush, the form and understanding of man, the tenderness and gentleness of the dove, the mystery and dynamic quality of the night jar, and the potential qualities of all life."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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