American White Pelicans

I spent hours yesterday watching the American White Pelicans.  Mid-Day a large flock of what I think were migrators circled down from sky. I would guess around 300 birds. The flock lined up along the windblown bank of the Cumberland River. Barkley Dam also had gates open that were pushing the current against the same bank. There are times these large birds work together to herd fish.

The flock stayed about four hours before taking off in groups. The groups circling higher and higher and getting together before heading north west. When the birds arrived the skies were overcast. When they departed the skies were absolutely splendid. A vibrant blue cloud dappled sky that almost takes your breath away to look at, especially after all the dark rainy days we have had. I headed home feeling blessed. Shortly after arriving home the skies clouded up again and rain began to fall. I am guessing this flock was staying ahead of the storms that wreaked havoc further south.

If my assumptions are true the migrating birds are early to be heading for their breeding grounds in North Dakota. Last spring in one photo I took I could read the band on one birds leg. The report back on the band said the pelican was banded as a chick in ND.

Will be heading out in the morning to visit our Louisville bunch. May miss a post or two but will try to post daily if I can…

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Today’s Flashback Photo Sandhill Cranes

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4 Responses to American White Pelicans

  1. Mary S. says:

    Grampy, How interesting the info that the Pelicans are already migrating! And the picture of the Pelican with the fish in its pouch I find amazing; the light was just right on that. It must have been beautiful to see them circle till they were together and then move on! You convey your awe to me in this post and I am awe-struck too. MCS

    • Grampy says:

      Mary S,
      Some migrators will shift back and forth for a while moved by weather systems. Like me I spose’ anxious to get back home. It is so neat to watch them circle. They flip from white to black as they circle. Video is the best way to see that. Did one a few years back. Have to look up the utube address and post it. Having seen it many times it still gave me a sense of awe.

  2. I hope the pelicans heading north is a good sign. I wouldn’t be sorry to see an early spring.
    You got some great shots of them and I love the shot of the cranes that look like they’re standing in the sky. What a strange pose!

    • Grampy says:

      New Hampshire Gardener,
      I am with you bring on an early spring. Thank You. Love that when the sandhills bow up in a strong wind and do sort of stand as they glide down. Especially when they all are in that same pose.

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