[Tweeters] American White Pelicans in Padilla Bay

Cathy Scott catsbow at gmail.com
Sun Jun 20 14:31:01 PDT 2021

This is responding to a couple of comments after my initial post: I should
clarify that when I talk about the Pelicans being in Padilla Bay, I mean
the spits behind the casino. They favor the portion at the northern end,
west side. They live there while they are in the Bay but they feed all
over in the Bay – wherever the fish are – but they sleep and rest on the
spit. In 2017 that is where they nested.

In 2017 and 2018 there were over 200. In 2018, I counted them from a drone
photo that I blew up at home and counted each bird = 229. In 2017 there
were about 12 birds that were hatched/reared. The young and a few elders
stayed quite awhile after the majority departed.

June 6, 2018 three people and a dog went onto the spit. They were also
kicking up the ground. Roy was there and took photos and he and I both
made calls to Fish & Wildlife, USF&W, and the Swinomish Tribe. He had the
boat number and we found out who was out there and their lousy reason of
why. Amazingly the pelicans came back that same day.

I have spent a lot of time watching and photographing them since 2016.
When I say a lot of time, sometimes I am there for hours. When I am
working on-site, I spend almost every lunch driving March Point and when
the Pelicans are here, I usually just go straight to where I can view them
on the spit or in the bay. Most days after work too. You could say I am
obsessed with them. I hadn’t seen them here before 2016. I did not know
they were anywhere in Skagit County. I wish I would have. I have seen
reports of sightings at Bellingham Bay, north mouth of the Skagit River,
Samish at Edison, Crockett Lake, and Deer Lagoon.

The numbers I have (along with a couple of other people who spend about as
much time out there as I do) were a little over a 100 in 2016; 2017 and
2018 – 200+; 2019 around 40 for a short period; 2020 around 90; 2021 I
counted 179 by blowing up a photo and marking off one-by-one.

I did not notice them leave immediately after July 4th in any year although
I was worried about it. I contacted the tribe but could not convince them
to not set off fireworks at the casino and stands, even though the Pelicans
are protected. In 2016, 17, 18, and 19 they were still there after the 4th.
Confirmed by myself either in person or from photos in our FB page. In
2019 the 40 could have left right after the 4th. I don’t have detailed
info on their departure date.
Cathy Scott
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20210620/31774f8c/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list