American White Pelicans at Lake Sinissippi in Dodge County Wisconsin on August 10, 2016

I checked out a birding spot coming home from Horicon Marsh and found some American White Pelicans on Lake Sinnissippi. These appeared to be mostly juveniles but not 100% certain. They were fishing in groups which pelicans typically do and missed fish on most occasions under the water. A few times one in the group would get a nice size fish and the group would go crazy, they fought hard trying to take fish from the one who got it. I noticed on a couple images one pelican actually put the pelican with the fish in a head-lock and next in a neck-hold! It got pretty crazy! A fun couple hours out when I least expected it.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Binomial name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Category: Pelicans

Size: 62” long, 108” wing span

Weight: 16.4 lbs

Cool fact: One of the largest birds in North America. Their pouch, bottom of their bill can hold up to 3 gallons of water.

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

When the start to fish, they gather in some what a circle, put their bills in the water and try to all go down into the water about the same time

For fishing, many pelicans gather in some what a circle, put their bills in the water and try to all go down into the water about the same time, amazing!

They all go down into the water about the same time.

Fishing…

This group all came up empty, no fish

This group came up empty, no fish

Time to re-group, move to another location and try again

Time to re-group, they move to another location, usually near by and try again, they must hear fish, sense fish, as they are attracted to a new location. The process was on going the time I was present.

Fish again

They fish again

Going down once again, they do this for hours, typically how the pelican fishes for food

Down they go…

Going for the food can get rough

A fish is caught on the left and it gets crazy as other pelicans want the fish too!

Typical

The excitement continues as they try to take the fish away

The battle

The struggle continues, the fish still in the pelicans pouch…

The battle

The struggle continues…

The battle

and continues…

Will it give up the fish?

Will this pelican give up the fish?

Still has it in the bag

Still has the fish in the pouch on the right trying get control of the fish

Wow

Looks like a head-lock is being used by another pelican on the left, they are still after the fish!

Wow,

Now it looks like a neck-hold is being used in the middle!

I'm not giving it up!

Not giving it up, fish in the pouch in the middle

The struggle is still on

The struggle still continues…

The struggle is still on...

The struggle is still on…

It heads out of the group

Finally the pelican heads out of the group with the fish…

Away it goes, it has gotten away with the fish

Off it goes with the fish

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Going fishing

Going fishing

Doing some preening

Doing some preening

More preening

More preening

American White Pelican making a pass over the area

American White Pelican makes a loop around the area

And just continuing on its way

The flyover

The landing

The landing

Fishing

Fishing

One gets a fish

Another fish, on the left side

Another struggle

Another struggle, fish in the middle

It continues

The struggle continues, a few other pelicans want the fish too

Going with the fish in pouch

Going with the fish in pouch

The struggle

The struggle

No swallowing this fish, I think just getting a better grip on it

Not swallowing this fish, I think just getting a better grip on it, it moved out of the area with it…

Things settle down and this pelican takes the fish elsewhere

Things settle down and this pelican takes the fish elsewhere

Sensing something here, maybe fish?

Sensing something here, maybe fish?

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

Moving to the right...

Moving to the right…probably a juvenile

American White Pelican

American White Pelican, probably a juvenile

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 29, 2014

I was just heading out the door this morning when I got a text message from a friend Bruce that he had located an American White Pelican at McKinley Beach. The bird was viewed previously by other birders at least a week ago, if this is the same bird. If it is, it some good hiding places. An American White Pelican is a common bird, but it is a special sighting on the lakefront in Milwaukee. I have preciously viewed them up in Sheboygan on the lakefront there. When I arrived at the location it was present. This location was on the lake side of the large rocks just east of the beach. I notified Jym M of the bird after receiving the text from Bruce as I knew Jym had been on the hunt for this bird for his Milwaukee Co. list. Jym arrived in a few minutes later, and he was all smiles, congrats Jym! The bird did some extensive preening while we were present. After preening it took to the water and then took off to the south. A fun birding moment for all of us and thanks to Bruce for the early text message this morning! Also present close by were about 12 Snow Buntings, 20 Female Surf Scoters out a ways, a couple of Horned Grebes and the Glaucous Gull.  Images were taken on October 29, 2014.

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American White Pelican

Binomial name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Category: Pelicans

Size: 62” long, 108” wing span

Weight: 16.4 lbs

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Stretching

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Stretching

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Stretching

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Stretching

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Preening

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Preening

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Preening

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Grooming

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Stretching

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Stretching

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Grooming

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Preening

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Preening

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Preening

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Preening

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Grooming

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Preening

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Horicon Marsh, WI July 29, 2013

Photographs from Horicon Marsh, Fond du lac/Dodge County, Wisconsin taken July 29, 2013.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Baby Common Moorhen

Baby Common Moorhen

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelicans

Juvenile American White Pelican

Juvenile American White Pelican

Juvenile Black Tern

Juvenile Black Tern

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

To view the full gallery of images, please click here.