American White Pelicans have a nine foot (2.75 Meter) wingspan. They are surprisingly graceful and I watched many of them fly over a pond and land on a sand bar. Evidently only I was impressed; the other occupants of the sand bar never even looked up.
As he turned you can get a feel for how large these birds are in comparison to the Ring-billed Gulls,
and the Cormorants standing around.
Once they hit land they tended to strut along a bit, quickly blending in with the rest of the gathering.
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
December 24, 2019
American White Pelicans tend to feed in groups, probably gaining an advantage of any fish their neighbor stirs up. This fellow swam away from the group into a spot where the fall colors from the tree line reflected in the shallow water. I believe the rougher water beyond the bird is deeper and has some flow as it heads into a canal.
His feeding style was more scooping along the water surface, and less plunging of his full head.
A flock of American White Pelicans was standing in a line as the sun came up over this shallow pond. The water was not deep enough for them to dive for fish so I was expecting them to take off any minute to look for breakfast.
I positioned myself to hopefully catch them taking off. Instead, they quietly preened as a few Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks did the same.
They moved very little in the 90 minutes I was at this pond. Unfortunately they didn’t like it so much that they had repeated this routine when I returned a few days later.