While hiking in a state park outside Denver yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pelican. I wasn’t aware the range of these birds included Colorado, but apparently it does.
The sighting brought to mind a limerick that’s often mistakenly attributed to Edward Lear and Ogden Nash. Its actual author, Dixon Lanier Merritt, was a Tennessee poet and humorist. He was also an ornithologist, which explains his knowledge of the peculiarities of the pelican’s proboscis.
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!
by Dixon Lanier Merritt
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