British Columbia

Squadron of American white pelicans spotted across Vancouver Island

Birder says pelicans may be investigating a new migration route

squadron

A squadron of American white pelicans was spotted in Parksville, B.C., last week (Peter Koughan/Facebook)

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A squadron of rare American white pelicans has been spotted across Vancouver Island over the last few weeks. 

"They have been spotted all over the Island in the last 10 days or so," said Birder Ann Nightingale.

"Everywhere from the Victoria golf course over Prospect Lake, Tofino, Parksville, Cowichan Bay — really travelling over the Island."

Nightigale said the pelicans could be developing a new migration route.

"They do have a breeding colony up near Williams Lake. They're known to breed in three lakes in that area," said Nightingale. "They may be investigating a new migration route, possibly through Bute inlet — that of course means coming through the Island and heading east."

Nightingale said while B.C. has had only one breeding colony, there have been white pelican sightings as far back as the 1960s.

"They have been reported as far back as the 60s in small numbers but in the last few years, we've seen large flocks of them — small to large flocks over Vancouver Island."

She said the American white pelicans will likely be in the region for the whole summer. 

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