The Endangered White Pelican?

Is the American White Pelican still on "The List" ?

Do You Know Pelicans?

The American White Pelicans arrive in Alberta in late April. These pelicans leave in late September and migrate to the coasts of Mexico and Florida for the winter. The American White Pelican is one of the world's largest birds, and they can weigh from 5-8 kgs and have a huge wingspan of 3 m. Underneath their long, flattened bill is an orange-yellow pouch for feeding. They can eat up to 2 kgs of food every day. In the water they can scoop up to 20 litres and strain out small amphibians, fish, and aquatic invertebrates. American White Pelicans lay their eggs in mid-May. Both parents watch and care for their chalky, white eggs until they hatch almost a month later. There is an estimated 134 000 breeding American White Pelicans in the wild, and they can live about 12-14 years. That number of 134 000 may seem like a large number of pelicans but pelican populations are constantly changing and being affected by human activity, so that number may not be the same in the future. In the end, American White Pelicans are truly remarkable creatures.

Do You Care About the White Pelican?

I sure do care! Doesn't it matter to you that White Pelican populations fall because Alberta's Industry doesn't see a problem with disturbing a bunch of breeding sites? Nah. The pelicans will fly away. There's plenty of space in the sky, but what about those eggs that we may trample on and leave to freeze in harsh conditions? Oh yeah, and what about the water. Pelicans are waterfowl, and the food they eat-all 2 kgs of it-is in the water. "Why is the water so important " you may ask. Well, their water is being drained away for irrigation and recreational purposes. Almost as if we don't have enough crops and gigantic indoor water parks in Alberta. Still, there is a hope! Since 1977, seven breeding areas have been designated as seasonal wildlife sanctuaries in the Wildlife Act. Between April 15 and Sept 15 it is illegal to approach within 800 metres of these sites. Also, it is illegal to kill White Pelicans or disturb their eggs at any time in Alberta. While some lake levels have become unsuitable for pelican nesting, new ones have been built in some lakes in Alberta. Here are the links of some organizations that help the White Pelican:,,,, and If you want to help the White Pelican then you can join and/or donate to an organization that makes a difference. Also, you should report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667). Volunteer with a local nature club, stewardship council, or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk. You can be the difference!

Hey Pelican Lovers!

If you have any questions or comments about this flyer contact me on one of the addresses below.