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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view JuleeK's profile
    Posted July 28, 2014 by
    JuleeK
    Location
    Arba Minch, Ethiopia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel snapshots: Best bird-watching

    More from JuleeK

    Synchronized Swimmers of Lake Chamo.

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JuleeK visited Ethiopia in January 2014 and was captivated by the pelicans she saw on a boat ride down Lake Chamo. "First off, I just think they're beautiful birds with their gorgeous white feathers, large beak and bright yellow throat ... Secondly, they were just so animated -- swimming about, dunking their heads/bills into the water to feed, and when on shore, preening themselves. They never stopped moving. In the water, they just glide with ease; on land, they are bit awkward waddling about with that big beak of theirs."
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    My fellow travel mates and I went on a boat ride on Lake Chamo, Ethiopia in hopes of seeing crocodiles and hippos which we did. As exciting as it was to see those creatures, it was truly the Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) that captivated us.

     

    We spent quite a bit of time following and watching a small flock of five pelicans from the time they were onshore to when they entered the water to feed. They were not at all bothered by our presence.

     

    We marveled at how they would simultaneously dip their large beaks into the water, looking like synchronized swimmers. Later, I learned that Great White Pelicans feed in groups, coordinating their swimming to drive fish towards the shallow water. There, they can easily dip, head and beak down, to scoop up the fish.

     

    Aside from their synchronized feeding actions, they were just gorgeous to look at with their white features and bright yellow pouches beneath their bills. On our way back to shore, we watched a larger flock fly overhead.

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