While we were in Santa Cruz, we were surrounded by Pelicans. As the boys surfed they would fly overhead with them, sharing the waves. Kris Cross. Back and forth. To and fro. They looked different than our batch of Pelicans in Newport, Oregon and Lincoln City. One of the Bird Challenges for the Handbook of Nature Outdoor Hour Challenge was to find a bird at your feeder and look further into identification. We choose to figure out what types of Pelicans live on the West Coast.
We know that the “Brown Pelican” lives here in Lincoln City. They too love to fly offshore with the waves. They seem to be darker. This one had a white neck and face and a bit lighter body.
What we found out, is that there are two types of Pelicans in the US. The Brown, here on the Pacific Coast, and then the White, that likes marshlands and fresh water lakes, mostly towards the East of the US.
What we had been seeing was not a variety of Pelican Types, but ages and plumages. Our shore birds go through magnificent plumage changes during breeding seasons. We’ve thought more than once that we had a ‘new’ bird for our bird list to find out it was just different plumage.
Resources: Field Guides, Audubon Birds on the Kindle HD, Notebooking Treasury Pages, and the Handbook of Nature February Newsletter Notebooking Pages.
After looking through some local shots – I see that the ones we see here have white necks also. Here’s a few to leave you with. I was standing on Highway 101 in Depoe Bay, photographing waves, when these guys soared right in front of my camera!
The FREE March Newsletter will bring us back down to earth to look at Mushrooms and Lichen Moss.