The animal on the cover of Responsive Typography is a crested pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). This pelican is a large aquatic bird found in interior North America during breeding season, and on the coasts, in the south, and Central and South America during the winter.
This bird is very large and plump, averaging a length of 50–70 inches, much of which is its beak, which measures about 11.3–15.2 inches in males and 10.3–14.2 inches in females. Its wingspan ranges from 95–120 inches, which allows the bird to use soaring flight for migration. They can weigh between 9.2–30 lb, but average around 11–20 lb. Males and females are identical except for size.
From early spring to mid-late summer, when breeding season ends, their breast feathers take on a yellowish hue. Afterward, it moults into its eclipse plumage—the upper head has a grey hue and blackish feathers grow between the wispy white crest. The pelican’s bill is large and flat on top with a large throat sac on the bottom. During breeding season, their bills are bright orange, matching the iris (the skin around the eye) and its feet; during this time, there is a flattened horn on the upper bill.
The pelican nests in colonies of several hundred pairs. About 10–20% of the population uses Gunnison Island in the Great Salt Lake as a nesting ground. This pelican catches its prey while swimming; each bird can eat up to four pounds of food each day, consisting mostly of fish like carp, shiners, perch, and rainbow trout. They ...