Friday, May 1, 2009

Migrating Pelicans

Yesterday, April 30, 2009, while standing on my back deck before getting ready for work (7:15 a.m.) I noticed from afar a LARGE flock of birds coming from the southeastern sky. They were in a big wide V and there were 20 to 30 of them.

I stood amazed as they flew directly over me and my house. They were flying fairly low - it felt like Pterodactyls were flying over me. It really freaked out Fatty Cat as they flew over. She was puffed up so big and slinking around trying to get under something.

Anyway, of course, I was in shock at having seen such a sight. All I could remember to identify them with was the black wing tips. Looking through my field guide that night, I started looking for CRANES with black wing tips . . . which led me to Whooping Cranes. Boy, was I excited!! Did I actually see Whooping Cranes?!

Well, after doing some online searching I thought I really had and I posted this sighting here on my blog. But then I got a comment from OperationMigration that shot that idea right down. I then figured out how to email them and asked if they could give me some other ideas about a big crane-like bird with black wing tips. They emailed back: Wood Stork or maybe Sandhill Cranes.

So this morning on 5/13, I looked again at the field book, first at Wood Storks, which I thought maybe could be it, but then I came across the American White Pelican with its black wing tips Why I didn't see this the first time, I'll never know!!

. . . so that's what that was!!! Pelicans.


LSUtri-guy said...

wow! i love how your blog has shifted from pictures of cats and children to primarily birdies! lol!!

OperationMigration said...

Unfortunately Lisa, we're confident that it wasn’t Whooping cranes you saw. Whooping cranes aren’t colonial birds and don’t fly together in numbers like 20 to 30. In fact all of the Eastern Migratory Population have left Florida and most if not all the Wood Buffalo-Aransas population are also well to the north. Sorry to disappoint you, but it is terrific that you were excited at the sighting. We dearly hope that the result of our work will someday mean that MANY folks will be able to look up and see these magnificent birds.

Lisa in Louisiana said...

wow . . . talk about bumming me out.

Lisa in Louisiana said...

Wait a minute . . . who is OperationMigration? and if they weren't Whooping Cranes . . . what did I see? What other big crane like birds with very significant black wing tips are there?