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Cheryl Carson
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White Pelicans | Here's The Scoop


What are these White Pelicans doing?  Start the video below then guess!  The answer will be listed below.



White pelicans are awesome. They are eccentric birds and have interesting feet, spectacular hunting habits, and throat pouches that can trap a lot more than fish.


Have the pelican family been around very long?  The pelican family is at least 30 million years old! The earliest pelican fossil on record is a 30-million-year-old skull that was found in the Oligocene deposits of France.


Do white pelicans store food in the pouch on their bill?  The large, fibrous skin pouch that dangles from the white pelican's bill is called the gular pouch.  White pelicans do NOT use it to store food, like a built-in lunch box. They use their gular pouches as a means of capturing food—not as a place to keep it tucked away for extended periods.


Do white pelicans dive for their food like brown pelicans?  Unlike their brown cousins white pelicans are more buoyant and do not dive for their food.  They cooperate to surround fish in shallow water, scooping up food with their huge beaks and pouches or may go “tails-up” to dabble for fish. They are most successfully working together to corral fish in the shallows. You will never see them dive!


What type of feet do white pelicans have?  White pelicans have webbed feet.  All four toes are webbed.  Their webbed feet are great for water-ski landings and strong swimming.  However on land they are ungainly, with an awkward, rolling, but surprisingly quick walk. 


What do white pelicans eat?  White pelicans eat mostly small fish, schooling fish smaller than one half their bill length. They are however, non-selective, eating prey purely on the basis of availability and within the preferred size range.


What is the strangest trait of the white pelican?  The white pelican grows a temporary horn.  Every year during breeding season starting in March the adults, both male and female, grown a broad, flat, yellow or orange “horn” on the upper bills.  At some point in May it falls off.


How big are white pelicans?  White pelicans rivals the trumpeter swan, with a similar overall length, as the longest bird native to North America. Both very large and plump, it has an overall length of about 50–70 in (130–180 cm), courtesy of the huge beak which measures 11.3–15.2 in (290–390 mm) in males and 10.3–14.2 in (260–360 mm) in females. It has a wingspan of about 95–120 in (240–300 cm).  The species also has the second largest average wingspan of any North American bird, after the California condor. This large wingspan allows the bird to easily use soaring flight for migration. Body weight can range between 7.7 and 30 lb (3.5 and 13.6 kg), although typically these birds average between 11 and 20 lb (5.0 and 9.1 kg).


Be ready to take a picture when you see these magnificant white pelicans!


Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 09/28/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 09/28/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Wed 09/28/2022 6:04:27 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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