American White Pelicans

No, we aren’t on vacation at some exotic ocean spot. We’re still in Kansas.

The very last birds you would expect to see smack in the middle of the country nowhere near an ocean would be pelicans, but here they are.

Having wintered in the Gulf of Mexico and now heading north to Canada for the breeding season, some of them make a pit stop on a neighbor’s pond up the road from us for a few days.

Here, they’ll rest and feed before continuing their journey.

It’s hard to tell from these pictures, but they are big birds weighing between 10 and 30 pounds with a wingspan of 6 to 10 feet.

They each eat about 4 pounds of fish per day.  Catching their meals is easy on this pond because it is very shallow. The flock swims across the pond “herding” the fish in front of them. Then they circle around and begin to feast. Other pelicans fly in to take their share.

After they’ve had their fill, they rest and preen.  Here’s a short video:

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They only stayed about a week and we miss them.

They brought a little “ocean” to us here in Kansas.