Friday, December 26, 2008

Synchronized Swimming

Did you ever have a morning when you just knew it was going to be a great day? I went out this morning to warm weather, sunshine and damp.

When I went up to Wild Bird Rescue to check the carriers for new arrivals and to feed the few birds we currently have at the center, I noticed several water spouts shooting up from the small cove at the end of our parking lot. That can mean only one thing--pelicans fishing!

I walked quietly down to the middle of the lot, where I could see the birds down in the water, but they were unlikely to notice me (I didn't want them to take off!). Sure enough, there were over 100 pelicans in a big cluster, beating the water with their wings (thus the water spraying up into the air) and dipping for fish. The picture above was taken by Bob Lindsay at Wild Bird Rescue on another morning. You can't see the water flying, but you can see the large mass of birds in the small cove on Lake Wichita.

It is fascinating to watch the birds fish in this manner. They herd the fish with the wing flapping, then dip their bills into the water to scoop up the fish. Then the group turns and pushes the fish to another part of of the cove by flapping their wings into the water. They then eat that group, turn and start again in another direction.
Good birding!

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