I was all alone on Black Point Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge one recent chilly morning, when this lone White Pelican suddenly swooped in overhead.As they migrate south over Florida during the winter, these huge Pelicans are most often seen in groups, sometimes filling the sky as massive flocks glide by over the water. With a wingspan of up to 9+ feet, they are among the largest North American birds (Florida Fish and Wildlife). So spotting this lone bird – with no one else around – was a real treat!In fact, I’m convinced it was heading right over to the shoreline to greet me, with that large, charming smile 😉We often envision pelicans plunging into the water headfirst to scoop up fish, as do the Brown Pelicans, who are year-round Florida residents. The White Pelicans, however, work together – they “forage cooperatively: groups of birds dip their bills and flap their wings to drive fish toward shore, corraling prey for highly efficient, synchronized, bill-dipping feasts.” (All About Birds) This particular bird was not at all interested in eating at the moment, though . . . Just floated lazily by so I could admire its graceful beauty!
To learn more, click on this link (Boreal Birds) for an excellent overview and description of these wonderful, gregarious birds!