March 6, 2017 3:51 pm

Meewasin pelican watch contest open for entries

Sure sign spring is on the way – the annual Meewasin pelican watch contest is underway

File / Global News

It may not look or feel like spring, but an annual spring event is on in Saskatoon – the Meewasin pelican watch contest.

American white pelicans have been coming to the South Saskatchewan River since the late 1970s, where they hunt for fish by the weir.

It is one of the largest birds on the continent with a wing span over three metres.

One way to tell if it is breeding is to look for an orange horn on its bill –which falls off after nesting season.

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The breeding birds seen at the weir likely fly in from Redberry Lake, the sight of the nearest colony – a 160 kilometre daily flight.

The pelicans migrate each fall to sites in California, Florida, Mexico and Guatemala.

READ MORE: White pelican mural adorns Saskatoon’s Sid Buckwold Bridge

Meewasin has been holding a contest since 1996 for people to guess the date and time when the pelicans will first arrive between the CPR Bridge and the weir.

The earliest they have arrived is on April 4, 2012 while the latest is April 20, 2014.

For the most part, the pelicans arrive in the middle of the month.

For more details, including prizes, visit the contest page at Meewasin.

Global Saskatoon is one of the sponsors of the contest.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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