American White Pelican Wintering In Oklahoma

January 21, 2018  •  2 Comments

Winter is a great time to watch and photograph the American White Pelican here in Arkansas and Oklahoma. My favorite place to do this is at Kerr Dam in Oklahoma. Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam and Reservoir are about eight miles south of Sallisaw, Oklahoma. The dam also contains a small hydroelectric power plant with four units capable of producing a combined total of 110 megawatts. (The lock, dam, and reservoir are named after Robert S. Kerr, former governor of Oklahoma and U.S. senator from Oklahoma, who died in 1963.)

American White Pelican winter on the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts from central California and Florida south to Panama, and along the Mississippi River at least as far north as St. Louis, Missouri. In winter quarters, they are rarely found on the open seashore, preferring estuaries and lakes. They cross deserts and mountains but avoid the open ocean on migration. But stray birds, often blown off course by hurricanes, have been seen in the Caribbean. In Colombian territory, it has been recorded first on February 22, 1997, on the San Andrés Island, where they might have been swept by Hurricane Marco which passed nearby in November 1996. Since then, there have also been a few observations likely to pertain to this species on the South American mainland, e.g. at Calamar. (Source: Wikipedia)

I photographed this Pelican while sitting on the rocks below the dam on the south side, below the parking area. If you go to this area be sure to dress warmly because it is very cold.


American White PelicanAmerican White PelicanSwimming in the Arkansas River at Kerr Dam in Oklahoma.


Steve Creek Wildlife Photography
Thanks, Ruth!
Ruth Byrn(non-registered)
Great article & photo. I did not know any of this. Thanks.
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