Great migration: Pelicans flock the lakes Thursday
BATON ROUGE - Arriving in time for their own Thanksgiving feast, giant, white pelicans were seen wallowing on the LSU lakes Thursday morning.
A group of runners out for a pre-feast jog noticed the birds gathered on the lakes. Drivers could see a sea of white birds from I-10. Sometimes, hundreds take refuge on the lakes.
The migrating birds are some of the largest in North America. The American White Pelican flies into Baton Rouge around this time, leaving colder climates in Canada and the Rocky Mountains.
LSU maintains a site that shares information on the birds and pictures. Experts posted there the birds typically land here in late November and stay until spring.
The pelicans can weight as much as 30 pounds with a nine-foot wingspan.
As Country Roads Magazine pointed out in a feature about the birds in 2010, they follow the food. A state ornithologist told the magazine, the pelicans like the lakes because it is a safe place to eat.
"They're either 'loafing' or fishing; loafing means they have found a safe place away from other animals that want to eat them," the magazine reported. "Their big goal is to avoid predators," the ornithologist said.
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