The cloudy sky reflected in the water made a nice addition to this image. The water was very low in the pond and that is mud beyond the birds.
I’ve wondered if birds have any perception of size. A Snowy Egret mingled with these American White Pelicans, perhaps thinking they would stir up a snack.
Average weight of a Snowy Egret: 13.1 oz (370 g)
Average weight of an AWP: 158.7-317.5 oz (4500-9000 g)
Source: The Cornell Lab: All About Birds
Some individual birds seem to prefer a quieter location and not being part of the big flock. The front pond had hundreds of wading birds and White Pelicans the day I took these.
Out in a back pond a pair of White Pelicans was joined by a handful of wading birds, all quietly going about their day.
Well, maybe this big…
Something, or someone, startled this flock of American White Pelicans at the edge of the pond. They lifted off but didn’t go far, landing on a mud flat in the middle.
In less than five minutes they had all settled down and were mostly facing the same way. A larger number of Snowy Egrets, White Ibis and a few Wood Storks in the group behind them didn’t react to the alert or the Pelicans landing.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area
February 10, 2020
For such a large bird the American White Pelicans make a delicate landing.
This one was landing on an exposed sand bar in a tidal pond.
He didn’t nail the landing, but his raised wings distracted observers from any mis-steps.
Gotta love those feet!
Four American White Pelicans decided to take a stroll along this sand bar. Actually it was more like one had decided and the others wanted to see where he was going and they fell in line.
The sun was up but the light was dim this morning. This American White Pelican made a nice reflection in the pond as he effortlessly took off.
These Pelicans start the lift off without any notice, just lift their wings and go.
One more skip.
I thought he might settle back down the way he was dragging his feet.
Finally, clear of the water. The whole process was just a couple seconds.
Mary’s House Pond, Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC.
From this angle you can really see the length of the American White Pelican’s beak.
With a nine foot (almost three meter) wingspan they are quite elegant fliers and this one glided on by me.
Nearly sundown, Ding Darling NWR, Florida
December 29, 2019
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