American White Pelican, Pelicanus erithrorhynchos


American White Pelican
American White Pelicans winter in large numbers in and around San Francisco Bay, where a few of their cousins, the Brown Pelicans,
can also be found. Along the ocean shore, resident Brown Pelicans are much more common than American Whites. The Whites nest in some 50 large colonies on inland lakes in the prairie and basin states and provinces of the US and Canada, departing from their wintering grounds starting in February and returning starting in July.


American White Pelican
Taking a bath.


American White Pelican
Coming in for a landing.


American White Pelican
Landing.

American White Pelicans
Above and below: while Brown Pelicans mostly dive for fish from above, White Pelicans forage at the surface, usually in small to mid-sized groups, often herding fish into a confined space where they can catch them.


American White Pelicans

American White Pelican
A pelican with a just-caught fish in its large pouch.


American White Pelican
Above, breeding plumage, with more red in the bill, and a knob protruding from the upper mandible.

American White Pelican


American White Pelicans
American White Pelicans are often seen flying over land in large flocks during
their spring and fall migrations; I've seen them crossing the Sierras in July on
their way to their coastal wintering grounds.


American White Pelicans