One of the largest birds in the Americas, the American White Pelican has a wingspan of 9 feet. One of the largest birds in the Americas, the American White Pelican has a wingspan of 9 feet. They breed in fewer than 60 locations in our western states and Canada. They winter along the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and the southern half of California. This bird was one of many in flock that were feeding in the water impoundments of the Viera Wetlands near Viera, Florida.
Unlike the Brown Pelican who dives from great heights to catch its prey, the white pelican often group together to herd fish into shallow waters where they are scooped up with the pelicans pouched bills. The American White pelicans are the only one of the pelican species to have a horn on its upper bill. The horn grows in the early spring and is shed after bird mate and lay eggs. This photo was taken in March on the birds wintering territory, but as you can see the horn is well under development.
Hear the croaking call of the American White Pelican here:
To read cool facts about the American White Pelican go to:
Tech. Info: Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/2500 second @ f6.3