American White Pelican | Audubon Field Guide

White Pelican at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Our Lives Our Photographs

white pelicanMallard Slough Trail Alviso (San Jose)

White Pelicans can be some of the largest North American birds with a 9 foot wingspan and weighing between 9.2 to 30 pounds. They are identified by having large heads and yellow huge bills. For feeding the pelicans dip their bills to swallow fish. Historically White Pelicans were threatened with extinction due to DDT pesticides during the 1950s and 1960s but returned back to health due to stricter environmental protection laws. White Pelicans generally live in the lakes, marshes, and salt ponds most of the time. The birds are similar to Brown Pelicans except they are larger and don’t dive from the air for fish.

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Some Critters

Follow the Fork in the Road

A mud Turtle taking a well deserved break.

Some of the Critters keep a sharp out for predators, humans are among that number. I pulled up behind this Turtle causing it to raise it’s head sharply a clear sign I have been spotted.

A young Coyote taking a look.

The Coyote in the photo above was a surprise, he popped over the top of the Levee seemingly wondering what all the commotion is. Sea Lions have invaded the slough, they follow the migrating fish from the Ocean to the spawning areas. The Pinnipeds were especially noisy that day, jumping out of the water and bellowing, the Coyote satisfied his curiosity and swiftly retreated back into the hinterland.

A Great Horned Owl, doing what Owls do.

The Great Horned Owl spotted me, he’s looking directly at me from 50 yards away. He was in a Tree near me when I first…

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Mink, Owl, or Hawk; Round Up the Usual Suspects and Other Stuff.

Follow the Fork in the Road

A Mink may have done it, but more than likely it was the Great Horned Owl that patrols the night sky on the slough. Hawks have been known to dispatch of them in the same way, I’m not sure if it’s just one species or if all of them will. None the less it happened in the dark hours, my money is on the Owls. Of all people to find a small decapitated Bunny it was Sue the Rabbit rescue lady. She had found it close to her place 1/4 mile South of us.

She is always out and about, but during the day.

The population of Rabbits is now at a good level, there are still plenty of them around doing what they do, baby factory’s. It is normal for one species of animal to cause an over population when they are filling a void. There were few Rabbits…

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Pushing Food, Pelicans

This is a good example of how a group of birds drive fish ahead, in this case into the banks of a rice field.

Pushing Food, Pelicans Pushing Food, Pelicans

These Pelican swim forward grabbing the fish as they move.

Pushing Food, Pelicans Pushing Food, Pelicans

The fish keep ahead of the birds until they run out of water or against a shore.

A friend was photographing large flocks of Egrets using the same technique. They were so efficient the fish jumped out of the water onto the banks all around where she was hiding in the reeds. Large flocks become an eating machine.

Click any image for a full view.

These flocks will move on when the fish are gone. The fish return with the tides and water flows between the marshes.

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Fenney Springs

Wildlifewatcher's Blog

The Villages, Florida, has some spectacular and unexpected wildlife!  River Otters, small Alligators, Great Blue Herons, freshwater turtles, Anhingas a Grey Squirrel, and a King Bird were all spotted at the scenic boardwalk area of Fenney Springs in the newer Southern section of The Villages, FL yesterday, 11/24/19.

So wonderful seeing all this while walking along a quarter-mile stretch of boardwalk above the actual springs.  This park with nature preserve, is adjacent to the Fenney Recreation Center in the area near Wildwood, Florida in The Villages.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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