I did not see this myself, but today a report from Kenn Kaufman on the Ohio-birds mailing list, a service of the Ohio Ornithological Society, was as follows:
This afternoon (Wednesday Sept. 14) I spotted an American White Pelican circling high above the parking lot of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, just north of Rt. 2 at the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Ottawa County, northwest Ohio. Kimberly Kaufman, Mark Shieldcastle, and I watched as the bird circled and drifted off to the east, paralleling the lake shore. This was at about 1:30. Birders coming in for the Midwest Birding Symposium (Sept. 15-18, headquartered at Lakeside, about 25 miles east of BSBO) should keep this species in mind, and take a second look at any high-soaring, white-and-black bird: i.e., don’t assume that they’re all gulls. American White Pelican is now regular in very small numbers in northwest Ohio during the warmer months, but it’s still exciting to see one.
Kenn KaufmanEditor, Kaufman Field Guides series
The only place I have ever seen a pelican outside of a zoo was on a lake in Yellowstone Park many years ago. How thrilling it would be to see this bird in my own neighborhood. I’ll be looking up for sure. Even though they are only seen now in Northwestern Ohio it is only a matter of time before they move east. Or maybe I’ll get lucky on a trip to Northwestern Ohio!
Kenn Kaufman is the author of the Kaufman Field Guides to North American Birds, Butterflies, Mammals, and Insects. My favorite Kenn Kaufman book is Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder. In 1973, at age 19, he set out across the USA to try and set a record for most species seen in one year, hitchhiking and working odd jobs as he went. It is a very entertaining book, both for the birds he saw and the characters he encountered. Find Kenn Kaufman at KaufmanFieldGuides.com
You can read more about American White Pelicans at AllAboutBirds.org.
Keep looking up!