**Apology** In fact, these are not my own private pelicans they are Shon Reed's. I mistakenly attributed the photo to National Geographic, when in fact, this is one of the stunning collection of nature photos from Shon Reed. Thank you Shon for capturing this image of the pelicans and for freely sharing Your View. Kathy
Big Stone County is the eastern most breeding grounds of the American White Pelican in North America. And we have these majestic birds in abundance. My husband grew up in this county and so is used to seeing the huge, prehistoric looking birds as part of the everyday landscape. But they are unique to this area. From here their breeding grounds range north and west into Canada.
Their wintering area is either 1) the Southern California coast or 2) the Gulf of Mexico. Frankly, noone knows where our Pelicans overwinter. If it is the Gulf, there is a chance that these birds may not be coming back next year in the same numbers due to the impact of the BP Oil Gusher. And some of those that come could be ill.
If you are reading this in Big Stone County- remember to take a good look at the Pelicans this year. Appreciate their gliding, synchronized flight. The way that they land on the water- they slow to a near stop just above the water and then lightly touch down with zero (0) forward momentum. A completely still stop on the water- hardly making a ripple despite their huge size. Look at these ancient creatures- as close to a teradactyl as still roams the earth. Lovely, silent creatures.
We have a flock of Pelicans that circle, low over our farm at least twice a day- morning and night. They live in our south wetland and must feed elsewhere during the day- or visit friends in neighboring sloughs. Sometimes when we are in the garden more will circle over us. Seeming as curious and watchful of us as we are of them. They feel like our own private Pelicans. Godspeed.