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Environment

South Dakota's Magnificent Pelicans

PELICANS.JPG
Karl Gehrke SDPB
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A few weeks ago I was at Lake Poinsett in northeast South Dakota’s Glacial Lakes and Prairies region watching four white pelicans silently swimming about thirty feet from shore. It was a cloudy morning with a light wind blowing from the south. Every minute or so, one the large birds would plunge its long bill under the water, pull its heads back up and swallow a fish. As I watched them, several questions popped into my head. How do they find the fish? What kind of fish do they eat? Where do they breed? Where do they go during the winter? Since I didn’t want to bother the pelicans for the answers, I called the Waubay National Wildlife Refuge and spoke with wildlife biologist Laura Hubers for Dakota Midday.

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