Psalm 102:6

I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

I am like a pelican of the wilderness,.... It may be so called, to distinguish it from another of the same name that lives upon the waters; which has the name of "pelican" in the Greek tongue, as is said, from its smiting and piercing its breast, and letting out blood for the reviving of its young; and in the Hebrew language, from its vomiting shell fish it has swallowed down; See Gill on "Leviticus 11:18" where the word is rendered a "pelican" as here, and in Deuteronomy 14:17, the same we call the "shovelard"; but a "cormorant" in Isaiah 34:11, however, it seems to be a bird of solitude, and therefore the psalmist compares himself to it. According to Isidore {g}, it is an Egyptian bird, that inhabits the desert of the river Nile, from whence it has the name of Canopus Aegyptus:

I am like an owl of the desert; or "of desert places"; so the Tigurine version; it is translated "the little owl" in Leviticus 11:17. It delights to be on old walls, and in ruined houses, and cares not to consort with other birds, and it makes a hideous sorrowful noise {h}. Jarchi renders it the hawk, but that, as Kimchi {i} observes, is found in habitable places. Bochart {k} thinks the "onocrotalos" is meant, a bird so much of the same kind with the pelican, that they are promiscuously used by learned men; and which is a creature, as Jerom {l} says, that is used to dwell in desert places; and Isidore {m} observes, that there are two sorts of them, one that lives in the water, and another in the desert; it has its name from its braying like an ass; and Aelianus {n} speaks of a bird of this sort in India, which has a large crop like a sack; and the Hebrew word "cos" here used signifies a cup or vessel, from whence it may have its name; and which he says makes a very disagreeable noise, to which the psalmist may compare the voice of his groaning, Ps 102:5.

{g} Origin. l. 12. c. 7.
{h} "Solaque culminibus ferali carmine Bubo, saepe queri----", Virgil. Aeneid. 4.
{i} Sepher Shorash. rad. owk.
{k} Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 2. c. 20. col. 275, 276.
{l} Comment. in Esaiam, c. 34. fol. 64. A.
{m} Ut supra. (Origin. l. 12. c. 7.)
{n} De Animal. l. 16. c. 4.