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 Post subject: Pelicans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:48 pm 
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I Own A Zim Dog!
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We live on a river 80 miles from salt water, so you can see what a surprise it is to see so many


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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Wow, not only are they beautiful - look at the symmetry of how they're sitting there! Why do you think there are so many, Sylvia? Some goofy weather pattern or something?

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Sylvia,

Beautiful and fascinating pictures! :hp

I am wondering the same as Tina. Do you have any idea why there are so many now? I sure wish that we were there to see this sight. Were they by Vieira's Resort or else ware on the river?

Sorry for all the questions, but just wonderin! :gig

Dawn :paw

Maybe they will stay for our next visit in June..... :dk

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Beautiful pictures, Sylvia!


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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Beautiful pictures

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:03 am 
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Thanks for the beautiful photo !

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:01 am 
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They were in between us and the Rio Vista Bridge
Don't know what brought them in, they were eating in the low tide

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:14 am 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esYNoq_n_GE

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:08 pm 
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OMG that video is awesome! Did you take that? Can I come out and live with you?

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Totally awesome photos and video, Sylvia!

Interestingly enough, my daughter was just telling me about these birds she'd seen out at Los Vaqueros Reservoir (which is about 20 miles directly south of you, Sylvia). She said "I know they are pelicans because of the way they glide when they fly, but they don't look like the pelicans along the bay. They're not brown; they are White with Yellow beaks." Then I see your photos. So I got curious enough to look them up.

According to Wikipedia, "The White Pelican rivals the Trumpeter Swan as the longest bird native to North America... very large and plump, it has an overall length is about 50–70 in ) ... It has a wingspan of about 95–120 in. ... the second largest average wingspan of any North American bird, after the California Condor. Body weight can range between 9.2 and 30 lb.

The plumage is almost entirely bright white, except the black primary and secondary remiges, which are hardly visible except in flight. The bill is huge and flat on the top, with a large throat sac below, and, in the breeding season, is vivid orange in color as is the iris, the bare skin around the eye, and the feet. In the breeding season, there is a laterally flattened "horn" on the upper bill, located about one-third the bill's length behind the tip. This is the only one of the eight species of pelican to have a bill "horn". The horn is shed after the birds have mated and laid their eggs. Apart from the difference in size, males and females look exactly alike.

American White Pelicans nest in colonies of several hundred pairs on islands in remote brackish and freshwater lakes of inland North America. The most northerly nesting colony can be found on islands in the rapids of the Slave River between Fort Fitzgerald, Alberta and Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. About 10-20% of the population uses Gunnison Island in the Great Basin's Great Salt Lake as a nesting ground. The southernmost colonies are in southwestern Ontario and northeastern California.

They winter on the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts from central California and Florida south to Panama, and along the Mississippi River at least as far north as St. Louis, Missouri. In winter quarters, they are rarely found on the open seashore, preferring estuaries and lakes. They cross deserts and mountains but avoid the open ocean on migration.

Unlike the Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican does not dive for its food. Instead it catches its prey while swimming. Each bird eats more than 4 pounds of food a day, mostly fish ... like Common Carp, shiners, Sacramento Perch or Yellow Perch Rainbow Trout , catfish, and jackfish. Other animals eaten by these birds are crayfish and amphibians. Birds nesting on saline lakes, where food is scarce, will travel great distances to better feeding grounds.

American White Pelicans like to come together in groups of a dozen or more birds to feed, as they can thus cooperate and corral fish to one another. When this is not easily possible, for example in deep water, where fish can escape by diving out of reach, they prefer to forage alone. White pelicans are known to steal fish from other pelicans, gulls and cormorants from the surface of the water and, in one case, from a great blue heron while both large birds were in flight

... they are colonial breeders, with up to 5,000 pairs per site. The birds arrive on the breeding grounds in March or April; nesting starts between early April and early June. The nest is a shallow depression scraped in the ground, in some twigs, sticks, reeds or similar debris have been gathered. After about one week of courtship and nest-building, the female lays a clutch of usually 2 or 3 eggs, sometimes just one, sometimes up to six.

Both parents incubate for about 4 weeks to one month. The young leave the nest 3–4 weeks after hatching; at this point, usually only one young per nest has survived. They spend the following month in a creche or "pod", moulting into immature plumage and eventually learning to fly. After fledging, the parents care for their offspring some three more weeks, until the close family bond separates in late summer or early fall, and the birds gather in larger groups on rich feeding grounds in preparation for the migration to the winter quarters. They migrate south by September or October.

Occasionally, these pelicans may nest in colonies on isolated islands, which is believed to significantly reduce the likelihood of mammalian predation. Red foxes and coyotes readily predate colonies that they can access, the later being the only known species to hunt adult pelicans (which are too large for most bird predators to subdue). Several gulls have been known to predate pelican eggs and nestlings (including Herring, Ring-billed and California Gull), as well as Common Ravens. Young pelicans may be hunted by Great Horned Owls and Bald Eagles...

Habitat loss is the largest known cause of nesting failure, with flooding and drought being recurrent problems. Human-related losses include entanglement in fishing gear, boating disturbance and poaching as well as additional habitat degradation."

So, I think they are migrating, and have stopped for a feast, though I wonder if they may nest close by as well? Please do let us know. Actually, I may drive up this weekend; I'd LOVE to see them in person!

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:17 am 
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Thanks for the information Chris that is what they are doing in the video I took, it was in the shallows the were rounding up food, don't know if they are still there I had to work yesterday and did not get out, they had been there about 2 weeks but farther out

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Wow, how cool is that!! Are those Coots in the background? Awesome captures!

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Nice! :th-up

Great info Chris... I enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed Sylvia's photo's!

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:09 pm 
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The Pelicans came back today, I got to watch them land so graceful.

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:36 pm 
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The fishin' must be good in your part of the river... those are awesome birds! How many would you say there are?

(Sylvia, look for a pm from me)

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 Post subject: Re: Pelicans
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:07 pm 
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It's hard to tell but at least 20 today

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