Late arrival for pelicans in Saskatoon this spring

Latest arrival in almost two decades for people waiting for pelicans to land at Saskatoon’s weir. Joel Ens / Supplied

SASKATOON – The winning pelican has touched down better late than never in Saskatoon, according to the Meewasin Valley Authority.

The annual Meewasin Pelican Watch Contest gives people a chance to guess the arrival date and time of the first American White Pelican on its migration back to Saskatchewan.

Since 1996, Meewasin and sponsors have invited contestants to predict the exact time the birds will land between the CPR Bridge and the weir.

Official spotters observed the winning bird grace the water at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 20.

This is the latest arrival in the contest’s history.

Contest winners will be announced by the end of the month.

From April through to October, pelicans fish by the weir in view of birdwatchers on the South Saskatchewan River.

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Meewasin says the birds seen at the weir likely fly 140 kilometres daily from Redberry Lake, the nearest nesting colony.

When winter approaches, Saskatoon’s feathered guests will migrate to sites like Florida, Mexico and Guatemala.

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