Search Results for "american white pelican"

  • Pelican

    By Johanna Shipley During spring and fall migration, lucky birders at a Prescott Lake may witness a remarkable sight. Huge white birds with black wingtips wheel and soar on rising thermals, seeming to disappear and reappear as they turn in the sunlight. This is one of North America’s largest birds, the American White Pelican. With a wingspan of up to 9.5 feet, and weighing almost 20 pounds, a White Pelican is larger than a Bald Eagle. Groups of pelicans spend the winter on the southern coasts, then pass through Arizona on their way to island breeding colonies on northern rivers and lakes. White Pelicans don’t build elaborate nests; they just scrape up rocks and vegetation into a shallow cup. They lay two eggs, but only one chick survives. Amazingly, the embryos squawk inside the egg if they get too hot or cold. It takes about 150 pounds of fish to raise a pelican chick. Adults eat three pounds of fish a day, generally minnows. A pelican’s lower jaw is flexible and has a large soft bill pouch (a gular pouch) attached. When the bill is pushed through the water the jaw spreads out and the pouch expands much like a balloon, allowing the bird to scoop up large quantities of water and fish. Then the head is raised, the bill is closed and the water is allowed to drain out,

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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