Where you live in Texas determines the type of wildlife that is found.  Odessa, Texas had a visit from a bird that was a long way from home.

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Most pelicans are found along the coastline, and for Texas that would be the Gulf Coast, so to see a pelican so far in the mainland is an odd occurrence.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a brown pelican was recently spotted near Odessa, Texas.

The Eastern Brown Pelican

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The TPWD describes the Brown Pelican as having a 6-foot wingspan, its bill is 18 inches long, and has a pouch on the underside.  The average Brown Pelican weighs 9 pounds and is one of the slowest birds.

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The  Brown Pelican was found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from South Carolina to Florida and Texas.   The Eastern Brown Pelican was marked as endangered in 1970 and is still endangered today.

Although this bird should stay near the coast the sighting in Odessa, although uncommon, has happened in other cities away from the coast.

Spottings of pelicans have occurred in Ransom County, Texas (near Lubbock), near Big Springs, and Fort Davis.  Other sightings have occurred near Carlsbad, NM, and on Boomer Lake between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  Most of the sightings did occur on bodies of water.  Check out this map for all the Brown Pelican sightings in Texas and surrounding areas.   It's highly possible that the Brown Pelicans found inland are immature birds that have wandered away from the coast.

The Brown Pelican is a beautiful bird, maybe they are just getting lost while migrating and are landing in the areas to take a break.

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