Date: 6/26/18 10:19 am From: Scott Heppel <scott.heppel...> [MOB-Montana] <MOB-Montana...> Subject: [MOB-Montana] White Pelicans at Quake Lake, Gallatin County, 25-June-2018 [1 Attachment]
Yesterday, there must have been at least 30 to 40 White Pelicans on Earthquake Lake, aka Quake Lake. That is not unusual at this time of year, but At one point, we observed some really interesting behavior. A pair of Common Mergansers were feeding near the lake shore where the Madison River flows into Quake Lake. When one of the Mergansers would dive, 6 pelicans would rush toward that point and immediately submerge their heads, appearing to be grabbing for some type of aquatic prey. These 6 pelicans followed the Mergansers around for at least 20 minutes, repeating this procedure 6 to 8 times. I watched this through binoculars, a bit too far for a good photograph, but later made the photo below of an adult female White Pelican landing beside too juveniles who were evidently expecting to be fed.
We also observed the male Calliope Hummingbird on his usual station when we launched the drift boat about 9:30 am and again when we pulled the boat out about 6:30 that evening.
Other birds of interest: