Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Karen Bartelt sent some pelican photos with captions, but didn’t associate the captions with the photos. I’ll put both below, and you can try to match them.
I love to see the American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)  as they migrate along the Illinois River.  A few weeks ago, while camped at Thomson Causeway on the Mississippi near Thomson IL, I was able to see them close up in an estuary adjacent to our campsite.
The captions:
Synchronized swim positions…
Tuchesses in the air…
The photos:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Nice pics!

  2. Đani Stojanov
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Second one is especially nice!

  3. GBJames
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink


  4. Merilee
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Wonderful shots, karen!!

  5. Randy schenck
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Always love watching the pelicans. The size of these birds is surprising to many. Pretty sure that second picture is feeding. They work in small and large formations to feed along the banks.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Oh, the knots on top of the bill tells us it’s spring.

      • Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Interesting! I did not know about that. There were pterosaurs with a similar keel on their beak.

      • Karen Bartelt
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes, quite a few knots.

  6. garman
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    And it seems that the population of white pelicans in Illinois has increased substantially in the past 10 years. We never saw them further upstream here on the Illinois; now they’re a common visitor. Are you observing the same?

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      In June 2015, I have photos of a large population (40-50) at the northern tip of Lake Winnebago (High Cliff State Park) in Wisconsin. Last summer we noticed some in July near the city of Lacon on the Illinois River. I sent this later one in to eBird, and they kind of blew me off. I didn’t have photos that time. However, I don’t think either of these were migrating, and that there are breeding populations well east of the maps you see online. However, I’ve not seen chicks. They are wonderful to see, though.

  7. Frank Bath
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    An unusual bird, the pelican,
    It’s beak can hold more than its belly can.

  8. Andrea Kenner
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    According to Wikipedia, this little limerick is by Dixon Lanier Merritt:

    A wonderful bird is the pelican,
    His bill will hold more than his belican,
    He can take in his beak
    Enough food for a week
    But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

  9. Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


  10. Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous pictures. Reminds me of synchronized swimming!

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