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Me and The Boys by Leslie van de Ligt

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We spent about a week at Skeleton Lake in northern Alberta at the beginning of July. I had some real entertainment watching these fellows as we were fishing ion the lake. They were quite dignified and completely ignored us. They did however like to be together and enjoyed one anothers company.

Skeleton Lake, Alberta Canada
Rebel XSI Lens Canon 100mm -400mm

*The White Pelican
(article by Ray Scweb)

[elecanus erythrorhynchos]

Status: Although it was removed from the national list of threatened species in 1987, the American white pelican is still considered endangered in Alberta. The population here is increasing (from 548 nesting pairs in 1980 to over 1,000 today) but fewer than half of the 20 known historic nesting islands are still in use.

Habitat: White pelicans arrive in Alberta in late April. The birds are very social and group their nests together in colonies. They leave before freeze-up in late September and migrate to the coasts of Florida and Mexico for the winter.

Appearance: One of the world’s largest birds, it weighs 5-8 kg and has a wingspan up to 3 m. Beneath it’s long, flattened bill is a bright yellow-orange pouch for feeding.

Food: Adults can consume up to 2 kg of food each day. In shallow water, they scoop up as much as 20 liters, straining out the young, warm-water fish, salamanders, frogs and aquatic invertebrates.

Breeding: Both sexes prominently display their bright orange bills during courtship rituals which include bowing, strutting and short flights. Egg-laying in a colony begins in mid-May. Both adults tend the large, chalky white eggs until they hatch about a month later.

Lifespan: 12-14 years in the wild.

Risk factors: The most significant effect on white pelican populations in Alberta is disturbance of their breeding sites, by humans or industrial activity. The birds may abandon an entire nesting colony, leaving eggs and young chicks to be trampled or exposed to harsh weather and predators.

Changing water levels due to drought, irrigation and recreational use may also cause the birds to abandon a colony, at least temporarily.

Management and Outlook: Since 1977, seven breeding areas have been designated seasonal wildlife sanctuaries in the Wildlife Act. It is illegal to enter or approach within 800 meters of these sites between April 15 and Sept. 15.

Where lake levels have made nesting islands unsuitable for pelicans, new ones have been built in some lakes in Alberta.

It is illegal to kill white pelicans or to disturb their eggs or nests at any time in Alberta.

I am an amateur photographer from Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada.
Love scenery, wildlife and anything that catches my eye as being unique. Have a Canon Rebel XSI with a 100mm – 400mm Lens that allows me to get some wonderful captures!

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  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 3 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL work,

  • Thank you very much Ann. I really appreciate your comment and the banner. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • deb cole
    deb coleabout 3 years ago

    Awesome shot and great information, Leslie! It’s nice to see something is being done to protect them. Nicely done!! :o)

  • Many thanks Deb for the lovely comment. We so enjoy watching these guys and we are glad they are protected as well. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsabout 3 years ago

    beautiful sis, you had the sun to your advantage for sure. Gorgeous!

  • Aren’t they beautiful Sis? I couldn’t remember if you got shots of these guys or not? Thanks so much :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • TWindDancer
    TWindDancerabout 3 years ago


  • Many thanks for the great comment :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alabout 3 years ago

    A terrific shot Leslie and very interesting info. Well done.

  • Thank you my friend. So appreciated. They were such a pleasure to watch. Thanks for the fave as well. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • PrairieRose
    PrairieRoseabout 3 years ago

    What a BEAUTIFUL sight Leslie…..and……….so beautifully captured!!!

  • Rosie thanks so very much. You always have the nicest things to say. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • Bootiewootsy
    Bootiewootsyabout 3 years ago

    Great capture, Leslie

  • Thanks Carol they were very obliging. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKabout 3 years ago

    I love this image. Stunning light and great focus on the three birds.

  • Thank you so very much Don and also for the Fave. So appreciated! :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • mrcoradour
    mrcoradourabout 3 years ago

    I really love this capture Leslie greatdetail,

  • Malcolm thanks so very much. You and Sally would have enjoy these characters. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesabout 3 years ago

    1 Image per day 2011/08/30


  • Many thanks Margaret for the banner and the comment. :>)) Leslie

    – Leslie van de Ligt

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