Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
more quiz questions >>
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
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
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)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.