Culture Art & Media Photo: Pelicans Put on an Air Show By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated August 13, 2020 richardliebert / Flickr Share Twitter Pinterest Email Culture History Travel Sustainable Fashion Art & Media Holidays Community Our photo of the day comes from Cape San Blas, Florida. Look at these two elegantly gawky brown pelicans, photographed by richardliebert, flying in perfect synchronicity – an amazing feat, given their massive 9-foot wingspans! To be sure, those impressive wings give them the ability to swoop and soar with aplomb as they scour the sea for a meal. Remarkably, once they spy a fish to catch, from as far as 60 feet above the water, they plunge dive with such force that they actually stun their prey. Thankfully, they are skilled divers with many adaptations to keep them from breaking bones and otherwise injuring themselves ... all the better for their unique brand of surprise attack. Pelican populations are doing well now, but they had a close call with the introduction of insecticides like DDT to the ecosystem – their numbers dwindled dangerously low and they were listed as endangered in 1970. When DDT was banned in 1972, their numbers began to gradually increase; in 2009 they were removed from the endangered list, and now they fill the sky more amply, putting on show for all to enjoy. Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group. Alternatively, send it to email@example.com with "photo of the day" in the subject line.