Local bird watcher Carol McCormick says she was surprised to see the return of the American white pelicans on the drawn-down Trippe Lake, where they’ve been visiting briefly for the past few springs. She believes that they summer on Lake Koshkonong. The birds work as a group to drive fish.
The pelicans have a white stripe under their wings that is hardly visible except in flight. Carol says the birds are huge, which is confirmed by this excerpt from the interesting post on Wikipedia: “The American white pelican rivals the trumpeter swan, with a similar overall length, as the longest bird native to North America. Both very large and plump, it has an overall length of about 50–70 in (130–180 cm), courtesy of the huge beak which measures 11.3–15.2 in (290–390 mm) in males and 10.3–14.2 in (260–360 mm) in females. It has a wingspan of about 95–120 in (240–300 cm). The species also has the second largest average wingspan of any North American bird, after the California condor.”
The birds will probably be here for a few more days, and you could get a good view of them while you socially distance (aren’t you getting tired of that term) at the boat launch/shelter off Wisconsin Street.