Reflections by the Sea: The Pelican

Published 8:35 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

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By Betsy Ore Glass

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

– Proverbs 3: 25-26

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The pelican is most graceful in flight, but can be a little awkward on land. They are magnificent birds to watch as they circle around in large numbers in search of food. Flying high above the water, plunge diving in the sea from heights of up to 60 to 70 feet, the impact is cushioned by the air sacs just beneath their skin. With their pouch located under the bill, they are capable of holding large amounts of fish and water for quite some time. It is known that the pelican requires up to four pounds of fish per day. The pelican was once thought to be a threat to commercial fisherman because of their fish consumption, but that is no longer the case today. Their diet consists of mullet, minnows and menhaden and other fish unimportant to the commercial fishing industry. The brown pelican is the species that mostly inhabits the Atlantic Coast. They normally nest on the ground or in the tops of trees. At one time they were on the endangered species list, but fortunately there is an abundance of pelicans now. Wouldn’t you agree that their presence, beauty and uniqueness adds to the Outer Banks landscape?

Watching pelicans go about their daily activities leaves me with the impression that they are very confident. They know what they should do, they do it and they expect a positive result. Is confidence learned or taught? Maybe it is a combination of both. So many things are tied to confidence, like self-esteem, leadership and success. When we try something new, our confidence level may not be as high, but as we do it over and over again, we gain that feeling of accomplishment that translates into satisfaction. It’s important that we get this right because developing confidence and being aware of it – or the lack of it – can be at the core of so many decisions and outcomes in our life. Offering encouragement to chase a dream or realize a goal is something we can all do in our relationships. It is something we can do for ourselves. Positive self-talk will carry us far. Taking the first step to building confidence is to give our fears to God and to ask for His strength to flow through us. Knowing that God is by our side, what is it that we can do today that we were afraid to do yesterday?

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at or read additional Reflections at



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