All About Brown Pelicans on the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Pelicans of Turks & Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands are home to abundant avian life, including the Caribbean brown pelican. These natural fishers with the large wingspan and awkward gait are so well known around the islands that they have lent their name to several restaurants, condos, beaches and bays. It’s easy to spot these large birds during a day at the beach or a trip to the Turks and Caicos coastline, so here are some interesting facts about these native birds.

The Caribbean brown pelican, or pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis if you want the Latin name, has a wingspan of around 5 to 8 feet and a weight of 6 to 12 pounds. The pelicans migrate along the coastlines of North, South and Central America and the Caribbean islands, moving to warmer climates during the breeding season where the abundant fish and sunny weather help them hatch their young.

The pelicans are awkward birds on land, but in the air and on the water, they become the swiftest of predators. If you are planning a pelican-watching trip on the Turks and Caicos coastline, bring a pair of binoculars to spot their sweeping dives into the water to gather fish, amphibians and crustaceans in their large bills, which can hold up to 3 pounds. Be sure to watch closely after the pelicans complete their dive: Their bills are a natural sieve that drains out all of the excess water.

Another great pelican-watching experience occurs during the breeding season. Pelicans usually hatch between two to three eggs per season, and both parents get involved during the month-long incubation cycle by keeping the eggs warm.

It’s easy to spot a pelican along the Turks and Caicos coastline, or anywhere on the Turks and Caicos Islands, but there are a few great bird watching sites scattered throughout the islands. Northwest Point National Park on Providenciales has a rocky, ironshore coastline that is a natural haven for pelicans and other sea birds like ospreys and cormorants. In addition, many avid bird watchers consider West Harbour Bluff on the southwest corner of Providenciales the best pelican habitat on Turks and Caicos. This <a href=”” target=”_blank”>website</a> has more about the best Turks and Caicos pelican watching destinations.

After a long day of pelican watching on Turks and Caicos, you’ll want to take a load off your feet in a comfortable vacation home. TC Villas offers luxurious accommodations that are located on some of the most beautiful beaches on the islands. Your vacation villa might even have a few Caribbean brown pelicans nearby!

You can find our villas at TC Villas. Contact TC Villas at or by phone from 9-5 EST at 1.877.467.4858 to book your perfect beachfront vacation rental villa!

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