Abilene Stories and Tips

Pelican in Kansas?

Herington Reservoir Photo, Abilene, Kansas

Who would have guessed? I always thought of pelican as coastal birds. The first time I saw pelican at Herington, I was convinced that I had to be mistaken. After all, these large white birds were quite a distance out into the lake, and my view of them wasn't exactly clear.

But then on October 21st I saw them again. This time there was no mistake. These six birds huddled on a miniscule island in the lake were indeed pelicans. The water level in the lake was low, making the area around the shore quite mucky -- certainly something you wouldn't want to walk in. This must have given these six birds the confidence to stand their small piece of ground as they were not in the least bothered by us being nearby. Nor did they move when we let our dogs out of the truck to get in a bit of exercise. We knew the dogs couldn't reach the pelicans, but I was nervous that the birds might fly off when they saw the dogs.

I think that pelicans in Kansas is a bit unusual. My thinking is that weather patterns are shifting and some of the habitats for these birds are disappearing with development. This makes our area of Kansas very appealing for them.

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