American White Pelicans

To make it easier to picture the American white pelican in the wild, browse the images below.

The American white pelican (pelecanus erythrorhynchos) ranges from midwest to west northern Canada and the United States down to the gulf states, along the gulf over to Florida, down through Mexico and Central America to Panama. This is an inland freswater bird that only shows up around salt water coasts in its winter range.​

The American white pelican eats mainly fish, that it catches while swimming. They do not plunge-dive for prey. They also eat some other aquatic animals like crayfish, salamanders and frogs. They usually feed cooperatively in shallow water, surrounding prey or driving them towards shore to concentrate them, then all plunging their beaks into the schools simultaneously. When they do feed in deeper water they typically forage alone.

They breed mainly on isolated islands in the freshwater lakes of interior mid-west/west Canada and the United States.

White Pelican On Lake Morton

A white pelican spending part of the winter in Lakeland, Florida's Lake Morton.

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Pelecanus Erythrorhynchos

An American white pelican soars over Riverview, Florida on a beautiful Janualy 2017 day.

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Circling Observation

An American white pelican circles a pond in Riverview, Florida before landing to join a flock of others.

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Pelecanus Erythrorhynchos BW

An American white pelican soars over Riverview, Florida on a beautiful Janualy 2017 day.

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Under My Wings

An American white pelican stretches its wings in Riverview, Florida.

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White Pelican Among The Spatterdock

A white pelican swims along the edge of the spatterdock in Lakeland, Florida's Lake Morton in late March before returning to its summer range in North America..

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White Pelican Pair

A pair of white pelicans enjoy a swim in Lakeland, Florida's Lake Morton in late March.Many white pelicans winter in Florida.

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American White Pelican Pair

A pair of American white pelicans swimming on Lakeland, Florida's Lake Morton..

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Florida Vacation

White pelicans soaring over the phosphate pits in western Polk County, Florida.

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Just Chugging Along

A white pelican swimming in Lake Morton in Lakeland, Florida.

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White Pelican

The white pelican does not dive for its food. They hunt in groups, rounding up their prey, and all duck their heads into the water at the same time. This one was on a freshwater lake near Riverview, Florida.

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