Tag Archives: American White Pelican

American White Pelican Coming In

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.

American White Pelican Landing
American White Pelican Landing

As he turned you can get a feel for how large these birds are in comparison to the Ring-billed Gulls,

American White Pelican Landing
American White Pelican Landing

and the Cormorants standing around.

American White Pelican Landing
American White Pelican Landing

Once they hit land they tended to strut along a bit, quickly blending in with the rest of the gathering.

American White Pelican Landing
American White Pelican Landing

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
December 24, 2019

Single White Pelican

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.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

His feeding style was more scooping along the water surface, and less plunging of his full head.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

He seemed to be successful.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

Goofy Birds

A Great Blue Heron took a stroll in front a Wood Stork and small flock of American White Pelicans.

White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron
White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron

He was oblivious to the photo-bombers beyond him.

White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron
White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron

The “big gulp” has got to make some noise, but the Heron was not diverted.

White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron
White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron

Interestingly, the Wood Stork and Pelicans were feeding steadily but the dozen or so Great Blue Herons around this area weren’t showing any interest in food.

White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron
White Pelicans, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron

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