Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Another Utah Adventure part 3: A Scoop, A Pod, A Field, A Sea...

I did mention that the Weber River was running high didn't I? The hot weather was melting the mountain snow pack very suddenly. As Bernie tried driving to another fishing location, we passed this scene.

Pretty huh?

And how about this: Those white spots in the first picture were pelicans!

And those are fence posts behind those pelicans!

The pelicans are bobbing along in the middle of a farmer's flooded pasture!

Aww...look how happy they look in their (chose one collective noun: pod, brief, scoop, pouch, squadron)..

Ducks, geese, sea gulls AND pelicans had settled into their newly created "seaside" abode.

There were even Canada geese, but you can see them practically everywhere. Any day now I expect to find a Canada goose sitting next to me at church, or rolling a shopping cart through Costco.

I wouldn't bat an eye if I did.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the pelicans.

My friend Sara sent me an article that explained what was going on here:
In Utah, the only known breeding colonies of the American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, are located in the northern portions of the state, specifically within the Utah Lake/Great Salt Lake ecological complex.
During spring migration, the breeding season, and fall staging and migration periods, American white pelicans can be observed at many reservoirs (and apparently flooded fields) throughout the state.
American white pelicans are highly social. Nesting in colonies, using cooperative flight and foraging strategies, pelicans are among the most gregarious of avian species. These birds are often observed sleeping, roosting, and sun bathing together.
They are monogamous.
They are social and monogamous?
Isn't that nice?
How romantic!
Perhaps we should put pelican pictures on our Valentine's Day cards?
Or start the tradition of releasing pelicans at wedding?
(You know they can hold three gallons of fluid in their pouches. Maybe they should be the symbol of fraternity parties instead?)
I got a kick out of their "call"...if tolerating a snoring spouse is sometimes part of marriage, imagine having THIS be the sound of your mate talking to you.
Or imagine what it would be like to having a couple of pelican taking up residency in your back yard, like happened to these folk who owned the field.
If your think calling robins or mockingbirds are annoying, perhaps you should think again.
Anyway, seeing the pelicans "out to pasture" answered my question about why the pelicans were flying over my head earlier.
Tomorrow: The Adventure Geologic wonders!
Take a good look at the pictures on this post again. See that rocky crest rising at a 45 degree angle?
That is just a taste of the kind of things we saw next on our adventure.


Sara said...

Gosh, that's quite a voice they have!

ellen b. said...

Oh my it kind of sounds piggish .
Beautiful photos. It's fun to see pelicans away from the ocean.
I'll email you later after I scan a photo I want to send along, too :0)

Islandsparrow said...


I don't want to sound disloyal to my dh but his snore is remarkably pelican-like. :) It doesn't put me off in the least though - we're happly married for 33.5 years! All I have to say is "roll over - you're snoring" and he does.