Polk County Conservation

White Pelicans

  • I recently moved to Polk City and I drive over Saylorville Lake everyday and noticed some huge white birds on the water. What are they?

    Those birds are American white pelicans. White pelicans migrate through Iowa twice a year. Saylorville Lake is one of the largest resting spots for migrating white pelicans in the United States. Over 10,000 pelicans migrate through the area. Pelicans start arriving at Saylorville Lake from Canada and the northern U.S. in late July-early August. During their fall migration, they spend several weeks at Saylorville Lake feeding and resting. White pelicans diet consists of fish, amphibians, and crustaceans. Up to 4 pounds of food a day is consumed. By late September-early October most of the pelicans will have flown south to the Gulf Coast for the winter months.

  • Contact Us

    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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