Phenomena

Pelican Surfing

Birds can be incredibly clever about using their surroundings to enhance their flight. Pelicans will even surf! As a line of waves rolls toward shore, it pushes a small updraft ahead of it – just like a line of mountains creates a windy updraft. Pelicans save energy by riding the updraft just like a surfer would ride the swell. Once the wave breaks, the air and water become turbulent and less useful, so the pelican cuts away to find his next ride. (Image and submission credit: N. Yarvin, source)

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