White pelicans have returned to Barnett Reservoir

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - If you're a fan of white pelicans, you don't have to go far to see them. They are gathering on the Barnett Reservoir at a place much closer to the North Shore Causeway, than before. That means you can get better pictures of the big birds in their annual trek.

The pelicans develop wingspans between seven and ten feet. They are distinguished from other birds by a pouch under the beak, which is used to scoop up fish.

They have been coming to the Barnett Reservoir, at least since 2002.

"They come here this time of year" said Mississippi Natural Science Museum Ornithologist Rick Winstead. "They come from the great plains and mountain west where they breed, and spend the winter down here on the Gulf Coast, and in southern California. And they come down here and spend the winter on these large bodies of water, water like the reservoir where they feed for fish."

Judy Blake has enjoyed the pelicans from her back yard at the reservoir, at least since 2002.

"Well, if you come out here in the mornings and you have  your coffee, and you are watching them fly in, it's mesmerizing" said Blake. "It's just the most peaceful feeling, you could ever have."

Winstead says the birds have moved closer to the North Shore Causeway, because it is better fishing.

He says they will be here until May.

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