Monday, June 04, 2012

White Pelicans At Salton Sea

Salton Sea with White Pelicans

We did not really have any plans to stop in this part of Salton Sea. However, on our way to Algodones Sand Dunes from Indian Wells where we watched live tennis (BNP Paribas Open) last March 2012, I saw dots of white contrasting the blue from our running car. I told hubby, "dear, a lot of birds dotting the sea, I am 100% sure,they are not sea gulls, because they look huge even if we are this far!" My hubby responded, " let me know if you want to pull over for them."

White Pelicans

 Who would not stop for this sight? Not us. We made a u-turn, and looked for a safe parking since we were on a highway, until we found a crossing street that will lead us to the sea. We took it, and soon, we found out that we were entering Corvina Beach, a popular fishing spot in Salton Sea State Recreation Area.
The fragile ecosystem of the Salton Sea is a sanctuary to an extremely diverse collection of wildlife. This inland sea holds hundreds of millions of fish that feeds millions of wintering birds, which include these white pelicans. 
 The white pelican is a large aquatic bird with an overall length of about 50-67 inches (1.3-1.7 meters), and a wingspan of about 95-120 inches (2.4-3 meters). Its wingspan is the second largest of any North American bird after the California condor.- source:
White pelicans are both migratory and resident birds at Salton Sea. Their numbers peak during spring migration, estimated at about 26,000 of them, which comprise between 80 to 90% of the entire Western population of American white pelicans. - source:
The Salton Sea provides a vital link in the migratory path of  white pelicans on the Pacific Flyway. Without the resources of the Salton Sea, white pelicans would be forced to fly further to rest and forage during their migration.   
What I have learned from the Salton Sea State Recreation flyer is that:

" The Salton Sea's rising salinity threatens its vital importance to more than 400 bird species. The area only gets less than 3 inches of rainfall per year and has limited sources of inlet water flow, without an outlet, which makes the sea now 30% saltier than the ocean itself. Federal, state, tribal, and local entities, as well as concerned interest groups and individuals, are now working together to try to save Salton Sea. In 2003 the California legislature passed the Salton Sea Restoration Act, directing the State to “undertake the restoration of the Salton Sea ecosystem and the permanent protection of the wildlife dependent on that ecosystem.” Finding effective methods to save this extraordinary resource is urgent. "-

note: Salton Sea is about 30 miles South of Indian Wells, about 40 miles from Palm Springs.  It is about 3 hours from both San Diego (north east of San Diego) and Los Angeles (south east of Los Angeles).This has been a regular early March weekend get-away for us each time we watch tennis at Indian Wells.

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  1. I can see why you wanted to stop here to see the pelicans. I never knew those facts about Salton Sea or even knew where it is until now. Thanks for the education.

    1. thanks Karen, you reminded me to add the description where Salton Sea is.

  2. Oh! I would definitely stop and take pictures of those white pelicans! Thanks for the interesting info : )

  3. I feel that it is very enjoy just to watch the birds flying, feeding & etc..
    feel so relax...

  4. One of the white pelicans is laughing out loud upon seeing you making the U-turn.


    Go to the fourth picture.

  5. The pelicans are so beautiful. They look like they are greatly enjoying the Salton Sea.

  6. Gorgeous white pelicans, and I love the reflection photo, Betchai.

    You have a very cooperative husband there, and I am glad you guy turned around for these terrific photos!

  7. wow, such a very supportive hubby...glad that you did capture this rare day...

  8. they are so pure and white! :) love the gorgeous birds by the sea

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  9. I have not yet seen white pelicans before, so this is such a treat to see. They look so elegant dressed in white.

  10. they are so beautiful and gracefull birds! I have always admired them...lovely blog! greetings from england...

  11. Khai is so sweet! and those Pelicans are so beautiful with their regal color! love all their photos specially the one with them reflected on the water!

  12. Beautiful birds. I would definitely stop to take their pictures.

  13. LOL on rainfield's comment. it made me look back on the 4th photo. hehehe! who wouldn't stop in such a sea of paradise? ;)

  14. wow, how breathtaking the view is! :) simply beautiful

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