Is that an egret? A swan? No! It’s an American White Pelican! This rare visitor most likely was blown off course while en route to its Northwest destination. For several days it was spotted feasting on small fish in Lisa Pond. Many visitors, from bird enthusiasts and photographers to local families and the media have recently come to Tifft to capture a glimpse of this rare and impressive bird. Its hefty white body and immense orange-pouched beak were unmistakable. Both males and females are similar in appearance and the rounded knob on its beak appears during late spring and is shed by the end of the summer breeding season. As one of
America’s largest birds, the White Pelican weighs in at over 16
lbs and soars on a 9 foot wingspan. They
spend winter along the coasts of Florida and
Central America and head towards Alberta and the surrounding area during spring. Most likely this feathered guest has
moved on to complete its journey across the country. Its presence here was a
delight for so many, as well as a testament to the importance of Tifft Nature
Preserve as a vital natural resource for wildlife.