Tag Archives: American White Pelican

American White Pelicans Taking Off

A dozen White Pelicans were paddling back and forth across the back of this pond with a Great Blue Heron watching over them.

American White Pelicans in Pond
American White Pelicans in Pond

All of a sudden it was time to move on.

American White Pelicans Taking Off
American White Pelicans Taking Off

These huge birds make very little disruption as they take off. They can weigh up to 20 pounds (9 KG) and leave barely a ripple in the water..

American White Pelicans Taking Off
American White Pelicans Taking Off

Their effortless looking flight continued as they banked, turning towards another pond further into the old rice impoundment.

American White Pelicans Over Marsh
American White Pelicans Flying Over Marsh

White Pelican in Wood Stork’s Space

At first at seemed that the White Pelican had no interest in the Wood Stork as he casually paddled along.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

But as he got closer I began to wonder.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

Surely, the Wood Stork would have some kind of reaction.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

I wish I could have seen this from another angle–did the Wood Stork reach into the Pelican’s beak?

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

Whatever happened, the White Pelican decided to move on, continuing to make a little flap about it.

White Pelican and Wood Stork
White Pelican and Wood Stork

The Wood Stork continued to pay no attention.

11/19/2018 Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

Good Morning Pelicans

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.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

I positioned myself to hopefully catch them taking off. Instead, they quietly preened as a few Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks did the same.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

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.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

Resting American White Pelicans

We had seen a few White Pelicans in the air earlier in the morning so weren’t too surprised to see them resting on the ground at the edge of a pond and happily stopped to see so many. They were quite a distance off the road but there was a clear view and I would say there were at least two hundred birds.

White Pelicans and Wading Birds
White Pelicans and Wading Birds

A number of Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets were sprinkled around the periphery of the group, including this group looking like a police line up.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans and Wading Birds

Most of the Pelicans were preening or resting. A few Coots were going about their business in the water around them.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

One daring Great Egret landed right in the middle of small group of Pelicans. The Pelicans took no notice.

White Pelicans and Wading Birds
White Pelicans and Wading Birds

Photographed at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, 2/21/2018.

Pelican Air Ballet

A fellow photographer spotted the Pelicans at quite a distance when we stopped to view some ducks along Black Point Wildlife Drive. We watched them approach for what seemed like several minutes but probably was only 30 seconds, hoping they would land in the pond in front of us.

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

Instead they treated us to an amazing aerial  ballet, with the birds shifting position in the group, breaking apart and reforming, in an elegant flight display.

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

The American White Pelican is one of North America’s largest birds, with a wingspan from 8-10 feet (2.5-3 meters)!

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

As they glided by I could see that the individual birds adjusted their altitude as well as their flock position and no matter how close they got to each other there was no evidence of an in-flight bump.

American White Pelicans in Flight
American White Pelicans in Flight

Photographed at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.

Click photos for larger view.