Are there pelicans in Colorado?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

There are indeed pelicans in Colorado, despite the common association of these birds with coastal areas. While it may seem surprising, pelicans have been spotted and documented in several locations within the state.

One of the reasons pelicans are found in Colorado is because they are highly skilled migratory birds. During their migration, pelicans often fly over vast distances and can be found in various regions, including inland areas. They have the ability to adapt to different environments and can be seen in diverse habitats, not just coastal regions.

In Colorado, pelicans are frequently spotted in and around large bodies of water such as lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. These birds are known to congregate near areas abundant in fish, which serve as their primary food source. Moreover, pelicans are known for their impressive fishing skills, using their large beaks to scoop up fish from the water.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of observing pelicans in Colorado during my visits to the state. One memorable experience was at a reservoir in the eastern part of Colorado. As I walked along the shoreline, I noticed a group of pelicans gracefully gliding across the water in search of their next meal. It was a beautiful sight to see these magnificent birds in an unexpected location.

It is important to note that while pelicans do visit Colorado, their presence may be more prevalent during certain times of the year, particularly during their migration periods. Additionally, the specific locations where pelicans are observed within the state can vary. Some of the notable areas where pelicans have been spotted include the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve, the San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area, and the Pueblo Reservoir.

To summarize, pelicans do live in Colorado, defying the common perception that they are solely coastal birds. Their adaptability and migratory nature allow them to be found in various habitats, including inland areas with suitable food sources and bodies of water. So, if you ever find yourself in Colorado, keep an eye out for these incredible birds, as you may just have the opportunity to witness their grace and beauty in unexpected places.