Pelicans? In NE Iowa?
Wed, 04/24/2019 - 1:41pm admin
—Yep, but they have already moved on
NORTHEAST IOWA - For quite a few years, the American White Pelican has been making its home for a few days on the marshes, lakes and rivers around the area, including Cardinal Marsh, the Vernon Springs pond and Upper Iowa River by Lidtke Mill, Lime Springs.
Larry Reis, Winneshiek County Naturalist, noticed some pelicans at Cardinal Marsh around April 9. They were near Lidtke Mill on April 18.
Howard County Naturalist Angela Bries said the pelicans usually show up in mid-April, around April 20. “They were right on schedule this year,” she noted.
Reis added, “The American White Pelican winters in Mexico. They were on their way to provinces in Canada, the prairie lakes area.”
The pelicans stop on their migration to take a rest for a few days and get some fish. “I’ve seen them take fish that are 4-5 pounds,” Reis said. They usually eat minnows or even bullheads, but they don’t impact the fish population.
There are only two species of pelicans in the United States, American White and Brown. The Brown Pelican is restricted to the southern coast, around Mexico.
The pelican is one of the biggest birds in the U.S., with a wingspan of eight feet.