American White Pelicans! and other sightings


photo by Jim Duckworth


Elkhorn Slough Reserve (NERR), Monterey, US-CA
Jun 7, 2013 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
43 species

Mallard  3
California Quail  3
Double-crested Cormorant  19
American White Pelican  108     most ever at one time–feeding in the tidal creeks as tide went out-migration?
Brown Pelican  20
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  6
Snowy Egret  3
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  2
White-tailed Kite  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  5
Western Gull  7
Mourning Dove  2
Barn Owl  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Acorn Woodpecker  4
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  1
Black Phoebe  2
Western Scrub-Jay  5
American Crow  9
Tree Swallow  9
Barn Swallow  1
Cliff Swallow  11
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  2
Oak Titmouse  1
Bushtit  3
Wrentit  1
Western Bluebird  1
Swainson’s Thrush  2
American Robin  2
European Starling  13
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  4
Wilson’s Warbler  2
Spotted Towhee  2
California Towhee  6
Song Sparrow  7
Black-headed Grosbeak  1
Red-winged Blackbird  2
House Finch  17
House Sparrow  3

View this checklist online at

3 Comments On “American White Pelicans! and other sightings”

  1. I was kayaking with a friend yesterday on Elkhorn Slough. We saw white birds in flight doing amazing aerobatics. Some of the moves reminded me of skating routines where there is a line of skaters with one on the outside trying to catch up with the others.
    The precision and movements the birds made were stunning. I’ve never seen anything like it.
    I saw your count of June 7th where you counted 108 American White Pelicans. We didn’t see any in the area of the slough. I’m wondering if it could be the American White Pelicans we saw in flight.
    Any thoughts?

    • Hi Vicki,
      Do you think maybe you saw terns? We have several species of terns here at the slough. White pelicans are quite large, fly in formation and feed from in the water. Brown pelicans feed by diving into the water at great speed. Terns are much smaller and hover over the water and dive for fish as well. Perhaps a quick web search of these three birds would find your bird. Thanks for the sighting!

  2. I try to kayak every Friday at Elkhorn. Yesterday was special because of the calmness of the water, which gave good visibility below. I came across two large (4ft.) bat rays. One went under the kayak and the other I think I bumped into, creating a shadowy wake in front of me. A little alarming until I figured out what it was.

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