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American White Pelican

Taking up residence on Logan Martin only in the last two years is the American White Pelican, one of North America’s largest birds.

It has a 9-foot wingspan, black wing tips and trailing edges. They weigh about 16.4 pounds and are more than five feet long. They differ from brown pelicans usually seen at the beach because they do not dive catch their prey.

They swim on the surface of the water, dipping their bills to scoop prey into expandable pouches. They are noted by Audubon for what is called “cooperative foraging — coordinated flocks of swimming birds encircle fish or drive them into the shallows where they become concentrated and are more easily caught.”