All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Monday, March 2, 2009

BIRD OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH THE AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN




Breeding on lakes throughout the northern Great Plains and Mountain West, the American White Pelican is one of the largest birds in North America. It winters along the coasts, but breeds only inland.
Description

Large, white waterbird.
Long bill with extensible pouch.
Legs short.
Body large and heavy.
Feet webbed.
Wings long and broad, with black trailing edge.
Tail short.
Size: 127-165 cm (50-65 in)
Wingspan: 244-290 cm (96-114 in)
Weight: 4500-9000 g (158.85-317.7 ounces)
Sex Differences
Sexes look alike.
Sound
Generally silent away from nesting colony. Nestling give whining grunts for food; adults have low, hoarse display calls.
Conservation Status
A long-term decline stopped in the 1960s, and populations have increased since then.
Cool Facts
The White Pelican does not dive for fish as the Brown Pelican does. Instead, it dips its head underwater to scoop up fish. Several pelicans may fish cooperatively, moving into a circle to concentrate fish, and then dipping their heads under simultaneously to catch fish.


One of the three largest colonies of American White Pelicans nest on Gunnison Island in the Great Salt Lake. There are no preditors on Gunnison Island however the parent birds need to fly to lakes and wetlands in the surrounding area to feed and bring back food for their young, they make a 75 to 100 mile round trip flight every day to feed.

1 comment:

dave and catie said...

If only would could learn to travel that far on such little energy. What a cool bird.