White Pelicans migrate to Florida from the Mid-west each year for the Winter. There is now a flock of about twenty here in my neighborhood that arrived today. Many are youngsters as evident from their light pink bill pouch. As the White Pelicans mature, their pouch gets thicker stronger and turns a much more yellow color (breeding White Pelicans also develop a ridge in the middle of the top of their upper bill).
White Pelicans eat fish, frogs, small turtles, and large aquatic insects. Our lakes and ponds have dramatically dropped their water levels recently so the fishing is very good! In addition to all the pelicans, I also spotted four Wood Storks, several assorted ducks, and two Great Egrets. No sight of the usual mob of Double Crested Cormorants that usually is around with the pelicans. Perhaps they are still in another area of The Villages, or are on their way! I took these pictures this afternoon, Dec. 1, 2016 at Boone Park (Facing across the road toward the pond area of Paradise Lake). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. I will be back with a new post on Monday! Have a happy weekend!
White Pelicans stop here in The Villages, Florida during their Winter migration. I really love seeing the big gatherings of the huge beautiful birds! I saw this flock fishing as a group in a pond on Pinellas Drive here at the Evans Prairie wetlands area, on Saturday, April 9, 2016. There also were Double Crested Cormorants, Great Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, and a couple of Little Blue Herons plus ducks and coots around! What a mob!
I don’t think this is the same flock I had seen a couple of weeks ago in the North end of the community on El Camino Real. I am always so pleased when I see the White Pelicans, which by the way, are mostly fresh water-loving birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans huddled on opposite sides of a small lake here in The Villages, Florida. The small lake is behind the assisted living facilities (Freedom Point complex area) on El Camino Real. This area is accessible by both car and golf cart. There were about sixty or so White Pelicans in each squad of the flock. At times, one or two of the pelicans would hop into the water and paddle across to switch sides. I believe these are a migratory flock and will be joining others to make their long journey North soon.
The big birds eat a lot of fish, tender turtles, frogs and tadpoles. They scoop their prey up in their huge flexible pouch bills. By the way, those pelicans of breeding age, develop a disc shaped growth on the top of their bill. The bill gets darker orange with age, having started out as a tender pink color. I spotted the pelicans on Monday. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!