American White Pelicans

My last post shared those pink-a-licious Roseate Spoonbills found, but they weren’t the only wonderful surprise at that location.

Lots of American White Pelicans were also there right alongside those Rosies!Β  What a treat to see both of these at the same time!

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Roseate Spoonbills, American White Pelicans (and more)


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Roseate Spoonbills and American White Pelicans


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Roseate Spoonbills and American White Pelicans


What a treat to see both of these at the same time!


The American White Pelican is twice the size of the native Brown Pelican.Β  Unlike the Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican does not dive for food but instead scoops the water for fish.

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American White Pelicans foraging for fish


They work together to herd fish for easy feeding.


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American White Pelicans


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American White Pelicans


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American White Pelicans


A final wide shot to show all the birds habituating together during this photo shoot.

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American White Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Wood Storks & Snowy Egrets


Florida during the winter months is indeed a birder’s paradise!



53 thoughts on “American White Pelicans

  1. These are wonderful photos Donna. Great detail in the feathers. I remember seeing white pelicans and spoonbills together at Merritt Island. Is that by any chance where you saw these?

  2. That is something to see! To see all of them at the same time, a real bonus. Interesting to see that the upper mandible of the pelicans has a pinkish cast. Do you know what causes that? When I visit them here, I spend hours watching the teamwork of the fishing and it is fun when they leap forward to catch whatever it is they are going for.

    • Thank you, Jane, what a time I had! Watching their teamwork is impressive. It is getting time for them to start migrating back north for breeding, and I’m already noticing their beak coloring is starting to deepen in colors as well as the ‘horn’ is starting to grow on the mandible’s tip of some. I just looked back and the photos I uploaded didn’t really show any ‘horns’. I’ll pull a couple shots for a later post. When the ‘horn’ is fully grown, it means, “Hey, baby, I’m ready!” πŸ™‚

  3. Simply gorgeous. We get some American White Pelicans in migration from time to time, and the sight is always amazing but these captures are fantastic. πŸ™‚

  4. What a lovely community.

    Working as a team to herd fish sounds a lot like Dolphins. They do the same.

    Their two-tone beaks/mouths are pretty but, the spoonbills win the beak contest. Too cute.

    When are you heading back north?

    • Thank you, Vic! Yes, like the Dolphins. πŸ™‚ To hear those Spoonbill beaks snapping is pretty amazing, slapping them together, chattering away.

      Sigh….end of March. I’m going to miss the Florida birds and the weather.

        • No, we moved out of our place last fall, home is now northwest of Baltimore; but I’d like to try to go by B&B’s nest in a few weeks when we get back to see if they returned. Beau should have arrived in the last couple days or the next few, with Bella right behind him! πŸ™‚

          • We actually already lived in northwest Baltimore, and have had a second home (condo) on the water for many years. After selling our condo, I had the accident and subsequent knee replacement. 😦 We felt it was important for the past 1.5 years to get near the water for our health & well-being while I recovered, as life threw us a curve ball, and halted all our traveling plans. Water has always been important to us, we’ve been boaters for 30 years. We are camping right now waterfront along the Barron River in Everglades City. πŸ™‚ Just something about water…..

            I am wondering, worrying, missing Bella & Beau though…. πŸ™‚

          • So, you sold that condo where you were photographing Bella & Beau and, then, had an accident with a knee replacement? I must have missed all of that when I was down with the septicemia/bad tooth. I’m so sorry. I had no idea.

            Water is definitely healing.

          • Actually the condo before we sold, the last one we rented after the accident. Going back to the water was definitely healing. We’re now trying to move forward again on doing some RV traveling that we dreamed of and had started to do before the accident. Confusing, I know! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Tanja! Scenes like that are seen at all distances, different locations, different days. To luckily find them and be close enough for viewing and photographing is a real delight with the vast wilderness they share in the Everglades, Big Cypress Preserve, and 10,000 Islands Refuge, most of which is unreachable. I so much want to already come back next winter! πŸ™‚

  5. What a beautiful little gathering of waterbirds Donna! How interesting that the Pelicans stay so closely together in pack. Our Pelicans form a V formation to drive fish to the shore. Is the pack arrangement a form of food sourcing strategy?

    • Thank you, Ashley! They did do the V formation to herd fish to the back side of the marsh at one point. I think when they packed up, the water was deeper in that area. They circled it a lot and seemed to be gobbling up something! πŸ™‚

  6. Love seeing the white pelicans in the same photos as the Spoonbills… Such fun!! You are so right about about Florida being a Birders’ paradise at this time of year – and you are really making the most of it!

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