Two of the Minnesota pelicans radio tagged this fall so their movements can be tracked are at wintering territory on the Gulf of Mexico.
Four American White Pelicans are sending signals to a research team. The study is intended to provide information on where on the Gulf the birds spend the winter, their migration paths, and their movements in Minnesota.
Impetus for the study was evidence of oil and oil dispersant chemical found last summer in eggs and bodies of pelicans nesting here. About one-third of the world population of this bird nests in Minnesota.
One of the tagged pelicans arrived east of the mouth of the Mississippi River in mid-October. Its radio signal is spasmodic, the most recent reception in late November.
A second bird arrived on the Gulf in mid-November. It was located south of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Two birds are taking more leisurely trips. One of them flew 175 miles on Thanksgiving to a location on the Arkansas River. The second pelican moved through central Mississippi in late November, the last signal showing it near Greenwood, Mississippi.
The project is a partnership between Audubon Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Non-game Program, and North Dakota State University.
To see the map and follow the pelicans go to http://mn.aOneudubon.org/