Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Pelican: a Thing of Beauty

        This morning at 10:15 A. M. I spotted three pelicans rising on a thermal over Sunnybrook in Red Deer. They made a few turns and were rising. Then I guess the thermal petered out and they coasted down and around so that they came right over my house at about 100 m elevation.

Photo by Bill Heinsen

       Now I am fascinated with pelicans as the soar using the thermals on a sunny day. The brilliant white contrasts with some black under the wings. They gracefully ride the thermals and once in a while take a few powerful wing beats to move around in the thermal.

      Most days you can spot pelicans around Red Deer as they summer up and down the red Deer river using the islands for safe loafing grounds.

     My favorite time watching Pelicans in flight was a time they were flying down the Red Deer River. I happened to be standing on a high bank at River Bend. The pelicans flew at eye level with me as they cruised down the river.