Friday, April 6, 2018

Pelicans and Gulls Galore

 Late Sunday April1,2018,  April Fool's Day it wasn't a joke when we found huge Pods of migrating Pelicans scattered across Lake Red Rock in Central Iowa, accompanied by a flock of  Ring-billed Gulls. As we watched the Gulls they would snatch up little fish close to the sitting Pelicans, which would in turn rile them up and put them in the chase mode.

The channel closest to the Dam was full of Pelicans vying for position. As they sat bobbing up and down the water pushed them backwards...Eventually they would lift up a few feet off the surface and move closer as they rested to continue to their breeding grounds.

We did spot individuals who felt it less necessary to be in a clustered group setting over other sections of the Lake, but it was more enjoyable of course to be able to get closer to watch for awhile.

You might be able to see in the pictures the feather tufts or otherwise known as plumage starting midpart of the head and the bumps or horns on the anterior part of the upper jaw. Those two features I've read indicate the seasonal preparation for breeding in the American White Pelican.

So much Spring migration activity is already underway! Looking forward to the next month and a half for the stragglers to pass through...

Have a Great Day!