Flocks of American white pelicans have been documented in recent years nesting on barren islands around western Lake Erie, including Big Chick and Middle Sister islands west of Pelee Island in Canadian waters.
The pelicans are apparently expanding their nesting areas on Lake Erie, and one chick was discovered in trouble during last week’s rainstorms that shut down the Bash on the Bay music concert on South Bass Island and flooded homes.
The chick was found near the Scheele Preserve on the northeast corner of Kelleys Island and taken to the famous Back to the Wild rehabilitation center in Castalia.
“We’re working with the Ohio Division of Wildlife and taking good care of the chick,” said rehabilitation expert Lexi Berk at Back to the Wild. The chick is large enough to consume fish, the main diet of an adult pelican, but not yet able to fly.
Adult white pelicans migrate in flocks, and are commonly seen in the Sandusky Bay Area in Ohio. They’re easy to identify, with an 8-foot wingspan that is only second to the California condor, the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere.