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Thumbnail of Paul Kroegel (source)
Paul Kroegel
(9 Jan 1864 - 1948)

German-American conservationist who was the first U.S. Game Warden at Pelican Island, the first U.S. bird sanctuary.


Pelican Island of Indian River

from Florida East Coast Homeseeker (1909)

Photo of pelicans on Pelican Island with bird on nest in foreground
PELICAN ISLAND, INDIAN RIVER. BIRD ON NEST IN FOREGROUND.
Photo by Florida Photo Concern.

Pelican Island, situated in Indian river, Southeast of Sebastian, about twenty miles north of Fort Pierce is one of only three pelican breeding grounds in the United States, and it also has the distinction of being the largest of the three. There is one small island near Tampa and another on the coast of Texas, and all the pelicans that inhabit the waters of the United States are hatched on one or the other of these three islands.

The island is in charge of Mr. Paul Kroegel, of Sebastian, the special commissioner of the government and of the National Audubon Society to look after the birds and protect them from slaughter by thoughtless hunters and boys.

These birds have inhabited this island ever since this country was first explored by the white men who found them there at that time, but upon the advent of the tourist into Florida and down the Indian river a tremendous slaughter took place and had it not been that the Audubon Society persuaded the National Government to extend protection they would have been exterminated. Now that the island has been placed under the care of Mr. Kroegel they have increased rapidly and every year from several thousand nests the young pelicans swim away from the island on their maiden voyage.

Photo of many nesting pelicans on Pelican Island
YOUNG AND OLD PELICANS. NESTS AND EGGS ON PELICAN ISLAND.
Photo by Florida Photo Concern.

The habitation of this island by these birds has killed every vestige of vegetation except a loose coarse grass from which the nests are formed.

The pelican is a very large waterfowl, larger than a swan and remarkable for its enormous bill, at the lower edge of which is attached a pouch of a capacity of many quarts. In obtaining its food the pelican circles around over the water and espying a fish beneath the surface, it makes a rapid clumsy dive and on catching its prey it lazily floats on the water with the fish jumping about in the pouch beneath its bill. The bird elevates its head in the air, dextrously turns the fish about with its head downward, when it is seen to disappear down the long neck of the pelican, giving the appearance of swallowing a plate.

The action of the pelican in flight and in securing its prey is very interesting and they are always eagerly watched by the travelers, and form one of the interesting features of a trip on the Indian river.

Text and images from Florida East Coast Homeseeker (Jun 1909), 11, No.6, 193. (source)


See also:

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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