Friday, January 10, 2014

American White Pelican

On Wednesday, Erika and I found a solitary American White Pelican sitting on the ice at the west outflow of Black Dog Lake in northern Dakota County, Minnesota. This water, as it enters the Minnesota River, is often open, since the lake is heated by a nearby power plant. The water is aerated and attracts an abundance of small fish. Consequently this location often supports a number of waterfowl and gulls during the cold, winter months.
This pelican probably was hurting. Possibly its wing is broken. On these photos, notice the ice on the black of the wing feathers. A bird capable of flight would likely shed such ice. It seemed odd to me that the bird chose to stand and rest with its feet in the cold water. Perhaps, however, the water was warmer than the surrounding ice.

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