I hope I'm posting this to the right forum. I was given the name of this site from Marshall at Cornell.edu, he said to post it here.
I have a question regarding Mute Swans and Brown Pelicans. I have Googled this question several different ways and still cannot find the answer.
I live on an 8 acre lake in central Florida and in this lake someone has placed 2 Mute Swans that they purchased from the city of Lakeland, FL, which maintains a huge swan population. These swans have been here for years and their behavior puzzles me. Brown Pelicans dive for fish quite often in this lake but when they do the swans will attack them and chase them off. If the Pelicans sun themselves in a tree near the lake the Swans will swim in circles under the tree in a threatening manner until the Pelican flies off. I can honestly say that these Swans cannot stand Pelicans. They do not molest any other water birds that visit the lake nor do they seem to mind turtles or other wildlife, this behavior only applies to Brown Pelicans.
I know Swans are territorial but what is it about Brown Pelicans that these Swans hate and why are they so antagonistic towards them?