Tuesday, February 26, 2008

White Pelicans

Not everything that is white is an albino. No need to check your eyeglass prescription...those are white pelicans.

The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos ) is a very large, white bird with black primaries and outer secondaries. The White Pelican has an overall length of 50 inches and a wingspan of 110 inches versus the familiar Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) with a length of 41 inches and a wingspan of 90 inches. Like the Brown Pelican, the White Pelican sexes appear similar. Unlike the Brown Pelican, the White Pelican does not dive into the water after prey, but feeds while swimming.

Yesterday's Post and Courier ran an article, including images by Audubon South Carolina's Jeff Mollenhauer, on a group of White Pelicans that have taken up winter residence in the Lowcountry.

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