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See American White Pelicans At Goose Pond FWA

Last updated on Sunday, April 14, 2013

(GOOSE POND FWA) - Bird lovers can head to Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area to check out the American White Pelicans.

"There are several hundred there right now," said Brad Feaster, property manager for Goose Pond, Hillenbrand and Minnehaha Fish and Wildlife Areas. "The highest count is around 600."

Halea Franklin, of the Greene County Daily World reports, the large white birds with black wing tips are making a stop at Goose Fond Fish and Wildlife Area to stock up on fish and frogs.

"They're just stopping off and eating fish. Their nesting ground is the Dakotas and Saskatchewan," Feaster said.

Don't be surprised if the pelicans have humps on their orange beaks. Feaster said they develop humps -- sometimes three to four inches in height -- during breeding season.

According to whatbird.com, American White Pelicans spend winters in the southern U.S. south to Panama. Its preferred habitat includes shallow lakes and coastal lagoons. The American White Pelican is primarily native to countries such as Canada, the United States, Cuba, the Cayman Island, Mexico, Panama and Puerto Rico; however, there have been reports of the birds in Belize, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.

American White Pelicans are one of the largest of the boreal birds. They can weigh as much as 30 pounds and have a wing span that can reach and exceed nine feet.
The first American White Pelicans appeared at Goose Pond in February. Feaster anticipates they'll be gone by the middle of April.

"There's been quite a few people come down to see them," he said. "They're really cool to see. They're kind of unique, but they're not near as rare as the Spotted Redshank."

The Spotted Redshank is a rare migratory bird that is normally found in Eurasia. Spotted Redshanks, which breed in Arctic areas of Northern Eurasia and winter from the Mediterranean region to Eastern China south to equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia, have recently been spotted at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.

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