Hi everyone and here we are with today’s bird, the “American white pelican”. These are huge birds with a 10 foot (about 3 meter) wingspan and are much larger than a bald eagle. They are actually among the heaviest flying birds in the world. They mainly nest on shallow lakes and marshes in the center of the continent, both in the US and Canada. But their range is steadily increasing east in the Great Lakes. Our lake was the only lake in Ontario where they would breed at one time, but along with the Great Lakes, at least 2 other lakes in NW Ontario now have breeding populations. Some people don’t like them because it has been long thought that white pelicans eat sport fish, but this is totally wrong. Most of their diet is fish of no importance for sport fishing such as carp and suckers. Breeding adults grow a unique “horn” or “sail” on their upper bill. Pelicans don’t carry food in their pouch, it is always swallowed before flying. They are majestic fliers and can soar high for long periods of time. These pelicans don’t dive, but rather dabble in shallow water for food. They will often get together to drive schools of fish into shallow water where they can easily scoop them up. They winter mainly along coastal areas.
Thanks for reading, have a great day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2021 Steve McLeod.