It’s rare to see a white pelican in Florida outside of the winter months. Even in the winter you have to hunt for them in central Florida. There’s usually a few that hang out at Lake Morton in Lakeland. These guys were still here in mid-March. They usually leave to head north for the summer in late April. Some of the older ones had already developed that bump on their beaks which they only get during breeding season.
A young one was posing.
Once in a while, a few would take off flying, circle the lake and land back on the lake. I’m going to miss them when they leave but hopefully they’ll be back in fall.
Grackles are common but when the sun shines on them they are very pretty.
An anhinga with something stuck on her beak.
Some of the resident ducks around the lake.
There were several families in late April.
One of the families was busy swimming around and investigating everything.
White pelicans are true “snow birds”. You only see them in Florida in the winter and even then it’s rare to see them. For the last several years there have been a few hanging around Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland (also know for their resident swans that live on the lake). I had seen a few earlier in the winter but when I stopped by to see if any of the swans had babies yet in mid-March, the lake was full of white pelicans. They were busy fishing and didn’t notice me at all standing on the side of the lake.
They seemed to be herding the fish into the vegetation and then scooping up the fish. You would think that after doing this all day they would eat all of the fish in this little lake. I went back several weeks later and all of the white pelicans were gone. I”m assuming they moved on to another pond or left to head up north. I realized when I cropped that last shot that there was a northern shoveler swimming in front of them.
Many of the pelicans were busy preening or flying around.
It’s rare to see a lone white pelican. This guy was actually in the group below.
It’s beautiful to watch the white pelicans gracefully float around the water and feed. They don’t dive in head first to catch the fish like brown pelicans. They work in a group to herd the fish into shallower water. Bobbing up and down they look like they are synchronized fishing. I found them in a small lake in central Florida. They only stay here in the winter.
One swam under a water fountain in the middle of the lake.
Several flew over my head.
Linking to Wednesday Around the World