Make a Trip to Channahon to See the White Pelicans

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“Their wing span can be close to 10 feet. So they’re just really, really big and that’s kind of what people notice like, ‘what are those huge white birds?’ and it’s like yep, those are pelicans.”

In the Sky

It’s that time of year when many birds are migrating, including white pelicans that have flocked to Will County.

And it’s not just those orange beaks that turn heads.

“They’re just really good at flying, they can go long distances and they can float and glide for a really long time so it’s really cool to see them,” said Bob Bryerton, program coordinator at the Forest Preserve District of Will County. They’re really graceful flyers.”

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of them, in the sky or on the water, the best bet is to drive out to Channahon.

On the Water

“That’s why that area at McKinley Woods-Kerry Sheridan Grove is so good,” said Bryerton. It’s what they call a mud flat where the water is shallow. It spreads out flat for a long distance and so there’s a lot of area where they can work and corral fish together and scoop them up.”

Lake Renwick is another possible area, but they’re more likely found at McKinley Woods.

Bryerton said pelicans are relatively easy to spot because they work in groups. Be sure to bring a spotting scope or binoculars on your visit.

The white pelicans are staying in the Will County area until May and will be back again in the fall.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.