Great blue herons, which might be in marshland areas back home, live along the Emerald Coast. These birds fish the Gulf of Mexico, standing by the water’s edge and waiting for the perfect small prey to swim or crawl by. Many have become accustomed to humans, but that doesn’t mean they’re friendly. They may let you stand or fish next to them, but that’s about as deep as the relationship will go.
Pelicans are among the most popular coastal birds, with their peculiar waddle and large beaks, which they use to strain water and catch fish. Like herons, they will gladly accept a handout and are common on fishing piers. But don’t mistake their antics for friendliness. They are still wild animals.
Look closely at the gulls you see on the beaches, but don't even think about feeding them or you will find yourself splattered in one of their previous meals. Their size and colorations are different and that flock of gulls may actually include several different species of birds.