Louisiana birding with the American White Pelican

When you walk the birding trails throughout the coastal region of Louisiana, you may be surprised to know that you have the opportunity to see almost half of the species of birds that can be found in all of the United States. However, as many of these birds go unappreciated, we would like to focus on learning about one species each week. This week’s feathered friend will be the American White Pelican, one of the many birds you might see in Louisiana.

American White Pelican

Here is what you need to now about this incredible animal:

  • They are huge! The American White Pelican wingspan can be up to nine feet.
  • You can recognize them by their white color, black wing tips, and large orange bill.
  • The males and females work together to build nests on land, near the water, usually out in the open in isolated areas.
  • American White Pelicans hunt for fish in shallow waters around lakes, rivers, and marshes.
  • They travel in large groups and often feed together using cooperative feeding.
  • Favorite foods include small fish, salamanders, and crayfish.
  • They only lay two eggs at a time, and if resources are scarce, the second chick to hatch often dies.
  • The birds are sensitive to intruders, so be careful if you come across them.
  • This is particularly true during mating and nesting and they can abandon their nests if they are disturbed.

Keep your eyes open for this beautiful bird the next time you make it to Louisiana for birding!

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