American White Pelican

(Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)



Status: Vagrant. Last recorded on site in 2021

The Patuxent web-site provides more general information about this species.
At this time of year, this species is rare on site.

The first Fermilab record for this species was a single first year bird which was found on Swenson Rd. Pond on Octber 30th, 1995. The bird remained there until November 5th. In 2003 another individual was seen three times in November (7th, 10th, and 11th) and at three different locations; flying over the east side of the Main Ring, on Lake Law, and on Lake Logo. On March 31, 2009, a flock of 18 pelicans was seen on Lake Law and the next morning a flock of 50-60 birds were feeding on A.E.Sea. By the end of the day, however, the flock had grown to 200 birds. Their numbers slowly dwindled over the next two weeks as they moved around the site, spending most of their time on Lake Logo and Main Ring Lake.

On June 24, 2013, a half dozen birds were found on A.E.Sea.


Photographer: Greg Vogel.
The protusion on the bill is only present in the breeding season.