I saw plenty of American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) earlier this week while spending two mornings at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (aka Bear River National Wildlife Refuge) in northern Utah.
The pelicans have already gone into summer plumage, they have shed the carbuncles seen on their bills during breeding season and now instead of a pure white head they are showing a bit of darkness there.
I saw the pelicans group feeding in the ponds and drainage canals on the refuge and flying in squadrons in the air. A couple of times the birds were flying in a line and they appeared to be following each others movements, it reminded me of the “Crack the Whip, a childhood game I used to play while skating.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is an excellent location for finding and photographing American White Pelicans who have wing spans of over nine feet. I photographed these in between taking images of Western and Clark’s Grebes, more to come on the grebes soon!
Mia McPherson, OntheWingPhotography.com
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