Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pelicans and Cormorants: Wascana Lake, Regina, SK

The pelicans are back in Regina, Saskatchewan. I saw my first in late March, and more (with cormorants!) in very early April, soaring over and congregating in Wascana Lake.

American White Pelicans and Double-Crested Cormorants,
Tern Island, Wascana Lake, Regina. (With geese in background,
and a pair of canvasback ducks in foreground
) © SB

I've never seen Double-Crested Cormorants on Wascana before, but maybe I've never looked at the right time. When I went out to take photos early this April, close to a dozen cormorants clustered with an equal number of pelicans on Tern Island, in the lake.

American White Pelicans are huge birds, unmistakable in flight. I'm told they nest somewhere in our region; I know they feed in spring along Wascana Creek.

Pelican flying over the lake  © SB.

There's something eerie about pelicans head on...
Especially with the breeding bump on its bill. © SB  

During breeding season, pelicans develop a very large, easily visible  — even in flight — bump on their bill. This is shed at the end of the season. 

These two fish-eating species — pelicans and cormorants  — are often (or not) considered related, and said to nest together. When I saw them, Canada/cackling geese watched from a short distance away, but didn't move in to share these birds' space — interesting to see, as they'll swim at will with ducks and swans. 

Close-up of the Pelicans and Cormorants  © SB 

Another view of the Pelicans and Cormorants
on their little island 
© SB  

What are these?  In flight, America White Pelicans. On the beach of Tern Island, American White Pelicans and Double-Crested Cormorants.         
Location: Wascana Lake, Regina, Saskatchewan.   
Photo date: In flight, March 28, 2012. On Tern Island, April 2, 2012. 


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