Have you seen those enormous American White Pelicans soaring above Everglades City and Chokoloskee? These majestic birds are colossal—some tipping the scales at a whopping 20 pounds and spreading their wingspan to around 10 feet! You’ll find them lounging on the outer islands, relishing every moment of life. Surprisingly, despite their massive size, these pelicans glide through the air with the elegance of ballerinas. Their synchronized flights are a breathtaking sight.
They spend their winters in Everglades National Park. In early April, they embark on a long journey to breed in freshwater lakes across the United States and Canada. Right before the adult pelicans take off, they grow a little bump on their bills. It could be like a target to help them get to where they are going. This bump likely helps them avoid getting seriously hurt when they have squabble. Once they lay their eggs, these bumpy bits fall off.
Venture out to catch a glimpse of these wintering American White Pelicans at low tide on mudflats for an unforgettable sight!
It usually takes around 45 minutes to cruise from the Port of the Islands to the ocean. The journey includes navigating through a long, no-wake zone, canal, providing a delightful and unhurried ride. Bring a cover for sun protection during this slow and scenic route. About half an hour in, you’ll arrive at the expansive and naturally beautiful mangroves before reaching the open waters of the ocean.