Tortola Pelicans Apple Bay

Tortola’s pelicans enjoy fishing, flying and playing along the shore line of Apple Bay on the north shore of Tortola. The birds are distinguished by their large elastic throat pouches. They live mostly on fish by catching them using their pouches as a fishing net.

The Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, is the main species on the island.

Tortola Pelican looking for fish in front of Applesurf Villas over Apple Bay Tortola.

It is unique in that it fly’s over the waters looking for schools of small fish and then captures its food by by a spectacular dive bomb plunge from up to 65 feet up in the air.

It is amazing to watch them in the shallow waters along the shore, out in front of the villa, dive and not break their necks going after the fish. Most time they succeed, letting out up to two and a half gallons of salt water and then gobbling up their food with a little shake of their butt feathers as sign of success.

Getting Ready to Dive…
Straight down plunge into the water with dinner waiting below.

The photos for the “Pelicans at Apple Bay” slideshow displayed below were all taken at the Applesurf Villas located at the west end of Apple Bay Beach here in Tortola either off the deck of the Sea Breeze or the patio of the Ocean Mist.

The brown pelican was an endangered species from 1970 to 2009 as DDT decimated them by causing reproductive failures. Since then, they have come back strong. Pelicans raise one brood a year producing 2 to 4 eggs that incubate for 30 days. It takes a couple of months before they can fly and be independent with their parents caring and feeding them via a regurgitated, partially digested fish until that time. Pelican parents will provide an average of 150 lbs of fish per juvenile this way before they can feed themselves.

Pelicans live for 15 to 25 years with a wing span of six to eight feet. The birds are not fazed by human presence for the most part and are fascinating to watch as they interact with each other scouting, dive bombing and eating.

If you walk the shore road towards the Sugar Mill from where Bomba’s was, look up in the trees on the right starting at about 100 feet ahead . You might see pelicans looking out from their nests in the trees.

Slideshow above is of Pelicans diving for food, photos had to be cropped pretty good affecting resolution, so limited size. Gives you idea of the force they hit the water with!

Apple Bay, Calm Today

Apple Bay Tortola on a calm morning

Nice swell just finished up, sweet waves Tuesday into Wednesday. Notice how a good portion of the beach is gone, it is what happens when big north swells pound the shore for days. No worries, Apple Bay’s magic will bring the sandy beach back in a couple of days!

Apple Bay Tortola, we have recovered from Urma better than ever. Would say that more than 80% of the island’s restaurants, bars and grill are open with most all the roads in good shape.

Ferry service from St Thomas to Road Town is back to normal with the west end ferry dock at Sopers Hole scheduled to open by the end of January.

Apple Bay, Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay are happening! Come on down to sunshine and bliss, the beaches are looking good. The video above was taken from the patio at the Sea Breeze, the upstairs suite at Applesurf Villa.

Apple Bay Beach 4/20
Apple Bay’s Magic Sand; 7 days after the north swell, the sand is back, soft and velvety. The wonders of nature!

Picture above is 7 days after the video was recorded. In the summer time where Apple Bay stays calm, the sand comes right up to the sea wall in front of Applesurf Villa. A wonder of nature.

Beach at Apple Bay
Beach covered in soft beautiful sand in the summer months at Apple Bay Tortola

Picture above of the beach at Apple Bay was taken before Hurricane Irma. Beach is very much the same minus our beloved coconut trees.