[Milton-L] Apropos of nothing

Gregory Machacek Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu
Sat Apr 12 05:25:34 EDT 2014

 Well, of course, not "seen"

Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College 

 -----Nancy Charlton <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com> wrote: -----

 To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
 From: Nancy Charlton <charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com>
 Date: 04/12/2014 05:07AM 
 Subject: [Milton-L] Apropos of nothing
   A Facebook friend in London posted a picture of the pelicans in St James Park, whose forebears were a gift to England from the Czar or Russia in 1664. I suppose by that time Milton would not have been able to indulge any such interest as he might have once had in animals and birds. His descriptions of them seem rather academic and don't have the ring of a naturalist or even a hunter or an angler. 

I thought it fascinating to think that JM might have seen the original pelicans. 


Living near Duck Island are St James's Park's famous resident pelicans.

Pelicans were first introduced into St James's Park in 1664 as a gift from the Russian Ambassador.

In March 2013, an additional three Great White pelicans - a gift from the City of Prague - were introduced into the park.

Regular visitors can see the pelicans basking on their favourite rocks and getting fed fresh fish between 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm every day.

There are currently six pelicans in the park:

5 Eastern (or Great) White Pelicans
1 South American White Pelican which is distinguished by different colouring and a crest on its bill.
They're gregarious, social creatures and there are numerous stories of their entertaining antics.

One rather mischievous pelican used to fly over to London Zoo in Regent's Park to steal their fish for his lunch and they're often seen climbing out of the lake to sit on the benches alongside visitors!

- See more at: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/st-jamess-park/flora-and-fauna/pelicans#sthash.NhNmxRjR.dpuf

Nancy Charlton

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