American White Pelicans dabble but do not dive.

Posted by Monica VanHarn September 2016 on Sep 12th 2017

At 5 ft long, 14 lbs with a 9 ft wingspan, this is one big bird. - John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids, Michigan photo MV2016

Unlike their their brown cousins, American White Pelicans scoop up food with their huge beaks or may go tails up to dabble for fish. They even work together to corral fish in the shallows, but you will never see them dive.

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids, Michigan photo MV2016

Mostly snowy white, you can spot their black wing tips as they soar over North American wetlands from Florida to Canada. They don't make much noise but get your attention by bowing and flapping their wings. Not too graceful on the ground, it is amazing they are so sleek in the sky.

Pelicans are 30 million years old, although the ones we see today may live just 30 years. - John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids, Michigan photo MV2016

Immature American White Pelican - John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids, Michigan photo MV2016

With fewer than 60 colonies left, these enticing birds are protected, with special concern on the west coast. DDT had devastating effects and pesticides still contribute to their struggle. Habitat loss is also a factor, as with most birds. Find out more at the links below and watch the skies now as these snow birds head south for the winter.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_White...
http://www.borealbirds.org/bird/american-white-pel...
http://www.gator-woman.com/whitepelican.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_white_pelic...