Tuesday, June 12, 2012


American white pelicans have been visitors here for the past 10 days. We see them wheeling overhead in a flock of 200 or more, color shifting from a bright white to an almost invisible neutral as they change their inclination to the sun. Here they are feeding on fish, frogs, and crayfish in a shrinking wetlands pond, accompanied by hundreds of egrets (and a few great blue herons) desperate to get their share before the bounty is all gone.

Inland pelicans use the terminal lakes of Nevada and Utah as home bases and breeding areas. They are apparently driven by instinct to visit the Central Valley's remaining wetlands areas at this time of year, when historically the snowmelt-driven flood waters would have been receding from the valley, making aquatic prey more accessible.

A few more photos are on Facebook, here.
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