The Pelicans Arrive At Old Ranch November 11th 2008 At 2:00 PM
Did you know? - The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is a very large (50"–70") white bird with black wing tips and a long, wide orange bill. They have a wing span of up to 110 inches. Unlike the Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican does not dive for its food. Instead it feeds while swimming. Each bird eats more than 4 pounds of fish a day, mostly carp, chubs, shiners, yellow perch, catfish, and jackfish
James, Sue and Paul estimate we had about 60 pelicans this year for a period of about three weeks and doing the math they depleted the lake of 5,040 pounds of fish! We saw them swimming in schools chasing the fish into a smaller portion of the lake and then dining on their prey!
The bill can hold 3 gallons of water, and after the fish have been caught the bill is
pointed downward allowing the water to drain, and then the bill is raised and the bird swallows.
They would get out of the water to sun themselves and laugh at the golfers!
"Hey fellers, what are those crazy hats the humans are wearing?"
"Here fishy fishy fishy!"
American White Pelicans like to come together in groups of a handful of birds
or so to feed, as they can thus cooperate and chase fish to one another.
The scouts are out looking for schools of fish!
Look, a whale! No, no Paul, the water spout!
Unlike the Brown Pelican (P. occidentalis), the American White Pelican does not dive for its food.
Instead it catches its prey while swimming.
Goofy On The Ground But Magnificent In The Air!
This species is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. In California,
it has the Department of Fish and Game protective status California Species of Special Concern (CSC).
Wheels up looking for a landing spot on the Old Ranch lakes
They are amazing when flying
James ponders the pelicans and the next club to use... at the same time!
Did you know? - A flock of migrating American White Pelicans is a facinating sight to see. They fly in either a "V" formation or a long single line. They are a ponderous bird. When flying they alternate between flapping and coasting. When the one in front starts to flap its wings, the rest follow suit. When the predecessor glides, so do the rest. Extremely buoyant for their size, they glide along the rising air currents and they circle down and around. They are long-distance migrants, taveling as far as Central America and Honduras for the winter.
The wingspan allows them to float on the ocean breezes that we know so well at Old Ranch
In flight, white pelicans have a graceful strong flight and usually fly in large flocks high in the
air and in a V formation. Adults are a distinctive white with black wing tips. The bill, legs and toes are reddish-orange or pink.
The landings are controlled crashes
Did you know? - Pelecanus erythrorhynchos 62″ (155 cm). Huge (wingspread 8-9½ ft.). White, with black primaries and a great orange-yellow bill. Adults in breeding plumage have a "centerboard" on the ridge of the bill. Immatures have a dusky bill. This pelican does not plunge from the air like the Brown Pelican but scoops up fish while swimming, often working in groups. Flocks fly in lines, may circle high on thermals.
James and Sue on the 18th hole; the flock is watching every move!
The dining room provides a super view of the birds
A group of pelicans has many collective nouns, including a "brief", "pod", "pouch", "scoop", and "squadron" of pelicans.