Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Bird of the Week January 4, 2010: American White Pelican

The American White Pelican is one of the largest birds in North America with a wingspan up to 9.5 feet. They spend their summers on inland lakes in the NW US and into Canada. They migrate south for the winter and some even make the trek all the way to Florida. One cool behavior they have is a cooperative behavior where a flock works together to "herd" fish into shallow waters and then scooping them up (I witnessed this first hand while in Yellowstone National Park one summer).  Their pouches can hold up to 3 gallons of water! This large bird is monogamous and forms large colonies on the ground where they build their nests. Both sexes incubate the eggs for 29-36 days with the young then fed by both adults for 17-28 days. The young  then will form groups called "pods" after fledging. During this time, the adults continue to feed them. When they are 9-10 weeks old, they will make their first flights! These guys were also valued during the late 1800s for their plumes albeit they were in as much demand as herons or egrets. 

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