Monday, October 21, 2013

Bird to watch out for: American White Pelican

A bird to keep your  eyes open for this time of year is the American White Pelican.  They are making their way south to the Gulf Coast from the northern prairies, where they nest in colonies.  The coastal marshes of southeast Louisiana are an important wintering area for the species.

White Pelicans will appear overhead almost anywhere, including over urban New Orleans.  They usually circle overhead, low enough to catch your eye as you as you glance skyward while walking to your car or doing whatever.  They are usually seen in flocks, commonly dozens together, wheeling slowly in the sky, white plumage flashing in the sunlight.  They are huge birds, and heavy, with broad wings with black tips.

There is perhaps no avian sight in Louisiana as stirring to me as when I am surprised by a flock of white pelicans circling overhead as I go about my daily business.  I suspect many others have similar emotions.

This note was prompted by a sighting:  a local observer reported 100 over Helios in Metairie today.

Keep your eyes skyward!


for a copy of Birding Made Easy- New Orleans, email me at , or look for it at the Maple Street or Garden District Book Shops.

I will be having a book signing (and leading a bird walk) at Longvue Gardens in Metairie on Saturday October 26.  Come and join in!

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