American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans IMG_7040_1

Just a quick picture-post of the American White Pelicans at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge, located at the confluence of the Spoon and Illinois rivers, a featured site of the Illinois Audubon Society’s Spring Gathering based in Canton, Illinois, this weekend.

I’ll have more photos later in the week. It was a long, frustrating weekend, with the weather on the chilly, wet side: a lot of the planned birding activities were canceled because they were inconceivable with the flood conditions resulting from last week’s rain.

American Pelicans IMG_7018_1

But the pelicans were undeterred. Indeed they seemed to be enjoying the extra habitat. I have never seen so many so close and in breeding plumage. And I found them surprisingly fascinating to watch: their movements are in sync, and beautifully choreographed. Dancing to a tune only pelicans can hear.

American White Pelicans IMG_6998_1

6 thoughts on “American White Pelicans

    • I know, I didn’t either until a few years ago. We get them in Cook County. I have seen them at McGinnis Slough, but they are always far away. The first time I saw them they were flying overhead near Horicon NWR in Wisconsin: they are magnificent in flight, big white birds with black on the wings.

    • Thanks. I agree, I had no idea what they look like in breeding plumage; I’ve seen them close-up at the zoo, for instance, but this time they looked all dressed up for a party.

  1. Beautiful photos of the American Pelicans, Lisa. I too, love the way they look when in flight. When the arrive here in large flights, they are like a giant eddy, circling slowly as one, in that spiral pattern before gently settling on the water. A magnificent sight.

    • Thanks so much for your insightful comment, Bob. Someone told us that up until a few years ago Pelicans were never seen at this location but they got blown away one year by a strong front and apparently have decided it’s a good stopover point on their way to their breeding grounds.

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