The brown pelican was placed on the endangered-species list in 1973, when it was found that pesticides had decimated the population. Its food supply was being killed, causing the birds to lay eggs with shells too thin to last through incubation. By the mid-1980s, the brown pelican population was recovering, thanks to conservation efforts. "Pelican" is the common name for the large aquatic birds of the family Pelecanidae. These birds have long necks, short tails, long, broad wings, and huge bills with skin pouches in the lower mandible. The upper mandible serves as a lid for covering the pouch.