Friday, August 20, 2021

American White Pelican

I recently saw large numbers of American white pelicans at both Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah (huge numbers in a large area) and near the Salton Sea in southeastern California (a large number in a small area). These numbers far surpassed anything I've seen before (see here and here). Photos follow:
The first five photos are of large numbers and the broader expanse at Bear River. 

White pelicans can hunt for fish in groups. Here they are herding the fish into groups to make them easier to catch.  

The pelicans near the Salton Sea at the mitigation marsh off McDonald Road near Niland were much fewer in number and easier to get close to. Here is one flying in. 

Here the pelicans stood on a dirt road between the marshes. They were packed into thick bunches. 

Note that the pelicans I saw at Bear River were probably nesting on Gunnison Island in the Great Salt Lake which is heavy salt water. They fly over to Bear River to feed. The pelicans I saw near the Salton Sea are not breeding. They've probably flown south for the winter, although this seems very early in the year. 

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting that in most of your photos, the pelicans are almost all facing the same direction. It's like pelican water ballet.