A Ton of Pelicans

I saw a ton of pelicans on the Rock River in Oregon Illinois.
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These are American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) headed up to Wisconsin to their breeding grounds.

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You can see the little plate form on their beaks indicating they are in breeding form. Once they migrate south for the winter they lose this plate. It's probably just an aesthetic thing they use to pair up.

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There were easily over a hundred of them on the river. Fortunately I spotted them as I drove over the bridge out of the corner of my eye.

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This must have been a shallow rock area in the river where a bunch of them were gathered.

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While I was there photographing the pelicans a fisherman walked by with his catch. Perhaps this is what the pelicans are also eating before they head farther up north.

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The day before I saw quite a few of them flying in the air. Fortunately they settled down on this river for photos.

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Various areas in Illinois are seeing more pelicans lately as their migration pattern has changed. It may be due to the invasive Asian carp in the rivers and lakes giving them easy access to large fish. Maybe they will eat all these carp and remediate the situation over time...

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The river was high that day from all the rain and everything was cold and gray. But the birds seemed to like it, maybe quite a few fish collect near this dam area and that's what draws the pelicans there.

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Farther up the river there were tons of tree swallows flying around catching insects. Sadly due to the gray weather my zoom lens didn't focus well on any of them.

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As usual there were some Canadian Geese hanging around honking loudly. I'm sure they have a nest somewhere around here.

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That's all for now, keep an eye out for pelicans if you live up north they are headed your way. Thanks for looking :-)



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Great shots of the pelicans. Crazy little knob on their nose. I am more familar with brown pelicans in California, Louisana and Florida. Nice stringer of fish, I'm sure fisherman was eager to show off his catch. We have started seeing some swallows here but not in big numbers. They more work the open fields here.

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Its hilarious they would grow a strange knob on their beak for breeding season. I'm still not sure what the fisherman caught, he said it was troutfish but English was definitely his second language and they don't look like trout to me.

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