The American White Pelican is a majestic bird that is found in North America. It is one of the largest birds in North America, with a length of 50-70 inches and a wingspan of 95-120 inches. This pelican can weigh up to 20 pounds, making it one of the heaviest flying birds in the world.
One of the most distinguishing field marks of the American White Pelican is its large, white body and wings. In breeding season, its bill turns bright yellow, and it has a distinctive bump on the top of its bill. Unlike other pelicans, the American White Pelican does not dive for fish. Instead, it floats on the surface of the water, scoops up fish with its large bill, and drains the water out of its pouch before swallowing the fish whole.
American White Pelicans are migratory birds that breed in freshwater lakes in the northern United States and Canada during the summer months. They then migrate to the southern United States and Mexico for the winter. Some populations also migrate to Central and South America. During migration, they can travel up to 1,500 miles in a single trip, using thermal currents to gain altitude and reduce energy expenditure.
Despite being a common sight in North America, American White Pelican populations have faced threats in recent years. Habitat destruction and pollution have affected their breeding and feeding grounds, and collisions with power lines have been a significant cause of mortality. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these magnificent birds and ensure their survival for future generations to enjoy.