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Early Bird Gets The Worm? Pelicans Fly Into Batavia Early

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American White Pelicans fly above Nelson Lake in west suburban Batavia on March 15, 2012. (Credit: John Cody, WBBM)

American White Pelicans fly above Nelson Lake in west suburban Batavia on March 15, 2012. (Credit: John Cody, WBBM)

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BATAVIA (CBS) – Some gigantic American White Pelicans have flown into Batavia’s Nelson Lake about two weeks early, with 9-foot wingspans and appetites to match.

Bob Andrini — President of the Kane County Audubon Society — says the 30 birds arrived ahead of schedule, because of warm weather.

He says they normally show up in the Dick Young Forest Preserve at the end of March or beginning of April. Their days are long and simple: they float about Nelson Lake, and eat fish, before resuming their migration north.

Andrini says the American White Pelican is the second largest bird in the U.S.; its 9-foot wingspan is overshadowed only by the wings of the California Condor.

They’re white, with black-tipped wings, and bills that turn bright orange during mating season.

Andrini says he saw them on Sunday and expects them to leave in a week or so, to be replaced by more American White Pelicans migrating north towards Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh, or further on up into Canada.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

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