Saturday, November 14, 2009

The American White Pelican......

A new visitor has stopped by the lake this past week and 1/2. The American White Pelican. We didn't know what kind of bird it was, we thought it might be a stork by the looks and size of it but it wasn't.

I sent a few pictures into the Missouri Wildlife Department, they are always SO helpful, and this was their reply:

"Thank you for providing such nice clear pictures of American White Pelicans. They are a common transient on lakes and freshwater marshes. If you look to the sky during migration, pelicans may be seen flying in formation high in the air over many parts of the state. They can be confused with much smaller Snow Geese which usually migrate earlier in February and March.

Many more American White Pelicans migrate through the western half of Missouri then the eastern half. A visit to one of the lakes, rivers or large freshwater marshes in the fall usually yields from 50 to 5000 pelicans. They are usually in Missouri from the first week of March until the third week of November."

Funny thing though, we have NEVER seen these birds before this November nor has anyone that lives around us ever seen them on the lake before! We have no idea why they decided to stop by and grace us with their beauty, but we're so very grateful we had the opportunity to see them. They are magnificent, huge birds with a wing span that appears to be about 3 ft. or more (I'm talking big here). They spend their day just drifting around on the lake "fishing" for their meals.

The largest group we've seen appears to be in the 100's all brilliant white against that blue sky and dark water, they are beautiful! Enjoy the pictures!


whyte said...

Thanks for sharing those photos, Melana! Guess where some of them end up in winter....Florida. They are most frequently found (for us) in SW Florida around the Sanibel and Ft. Myers area. We love to see them in the winter when in that area!


Fabulous story and pictures Melana xx

Juliette Crane said...

oh my gosh, how beautiful! thank you for sharing! i can't wait for springtime on the lakes here in wisconsin:)