Isn’t it odd that these magnificent water birds are found in large numbers here in Wisconsin? I started noticing them a few years ago, soaring above in loose formations, riding the thermals. When I first saw them, I assumed they were tundra swans, another large white bird we see here. When I was able to view them a bit closer, I realized these were not swans. Research produced the answer. American White Pelicans. I’m in love with these birds.
We live very close to the Horicon Marsh, right on the edge of the marsh. The pelicans have been living there for the last few summers. They glide over our farm daily. There are other places in the state that have these pelicans as summer visitors. Lee and I were at Lake Winnebago near Oshkosh the other day, and saw hundreds of White Pelicans.
American White Pelicans are huge. They weigh about 16 pounds, and have a wingspan of 9 feet. I’ve learned that they don’t feed in the same way that other pelicans do. Most pelicans dive and plunge after fish in the water. The White Pelicans feed more like ducks. They float in the water and bob their heads down for food.