American White Pelicans Are Back

(I meant to publish this post two days ago.  A little late on the news for my local friends, sorry!  Here’s good news:  Tomorrow, November 11, Blackwater NWR has free admission to the wildlife drive in honor of Veteran’s Day.)


I’ve been processing and whittling down the bigger birds I captured during my last two visits to Blackwater NWR.  That post is almost complete and may have to split into two posts.

In this post, I wanted to share the surprise I sighted/captured on November 4th visit, the flying in of four American White Pelicans.

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American White Pelicans


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American White Pelicans


Not a new bird for me but exciting just the same!

You see, although considered unusual for the mid-Atlantic region as a resident bird, even more so for wintering grounds, Blackwater NWR has been fortunate to host a squadron of around 100 +/- American White Pelicans that first started coming in smaller quantities in 2007.

I re-looped the wildlife drive about an hour or so later and saw a small squadron of about 15-20 of them out on the water in the distance.  Probably where the four I first saw were now.

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American White Pelicans


On October 31st, the refuge did a waterfowl count and reported zero American White Pelicans.

The local birding forums and Blackwater NWR media are abuzz with the sightings.  Some have shown photos (91 in flight, sighted Nov. 2nd) and others are boasting counts (as high as 88 in the water) of the arrivals.

Hopefully, the American White Pelicans will stay the winter again and come in closer to the wildlife drive once in a while for visitors to marvel and photograph up close.



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