American White Pelicans

Observers: Greg Reis & Erika Obedzinski
Email: *g1reg_ *a1t_ *m1onolake_ *d1ot_ *o1rg_
Verification: MONO
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Date: 04/02/2007
Time: 03:40 PM -0400


Saturday we were at Fish Slough in mid-morning and saw thousands of American White Pelicans migrating north. They were in groups of about 200, and we watched them passing by for at least 20 minutes. They would glide north, then the flock would contract as it circled on the updrafts off the hill just east of the slough, then they would spread out in long lines as they glided north again on their way to Pyramid Lake and points north. You could hear the wind against their wings as they circled above us, sounding like a glider in the distance. This magical migration is one of my favorite things about spring in the Owens Valley. Get any urbanite to witness this spiritually uplifting phenomenon and they will have a newfound appreciation for the irreplaceable wetland and lake habitats on the Pacific Flyway that make these migrations possible.