Saturday, May 15, 2010

Findings on a beautiful morning road trip!

American White Pelican

I was standing on the road, watching the fishing boats at the landing at Height Of Land Lake.  These pelicans were busy fishing for food.  They do not plunge dive, but feed by dipping their large pouched bill into the water and scoop up the fish.  The raised bump on the top of the beak is only present during the breeding season, and sometimes they are called the Rough Billed Pelicans.   I don't know if they are still migrating north or if these birds have been at this lake other years and come back yearly.  I'll have to go back in several weeks to see if there any little ones!  It was at least an hour that I watched them.  There were five of them, and they tended to swim together to somewhat herd the fish to more shallow water and then scoop the fish up.  In looking up information on the pelicans, they nest May through August and spend winters along the Gulf Coast, California and Mexico.

I watched the one with a full pouch catch a big fish, a big long fish; maybe a Northern Pike?!  The camera missed the fish sticking out both sides of his mouth.  

I wonder if they were more successful than the nearby fishing boats at catching fish!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. It looks like it was perfect weather for bird watching. I hope you enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

Rae said...

It would be awesome to watch them. I have never seen them before. They are unusual. You captured some really nice photos.

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Hey they are pretty cool -- don't think I've seen them that close! Great pics!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Awesome photos!! That is a serious looking bump on their beaks..they look like a very interesting bird! :)

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Great pictures!!! I have never seen a pelican in person I don't think! Crazy huh?! Hope you had a great weekend!!

Cyndi said...

I love pelicans! Watching them fly is as much fun as watching them fish.... they are so beautifully graceful when flying! Being a girl from the Gulf Coast myself, pelicans have always been one of my favorites. The brown pelican is actually the state bird of my home state - Louisiana. Really enjoyed your post!! :o)



John'aLee said...

What awesome pictures you take!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Unknown said...

Cool captures! So could the pelican really gulp down that huge fish inside its pouch?? Was the fish desperately flapping around inside it, even as it was swallowed down?!